New work by Vilhelm Hammershøi
The Hirschsprung Collection has acquired an important self-portrait by Vilhelm Hammershøi painted in Paris during his honeymoon in 1891.
The new acquisition is Hammershøi’s Self-Portrait, which the artist painted at the age of 27 while honeymooning with Ida Hammershøi. Up until this point, the painting was housed in a private collection.
The museum is already home to sixteen paintings by the artist, but the new addition is the first self-portrait to enter the collection. The work was acquired with support from the New Carlsberg Foundation and the Augustinus Foundation.
The artist has depicted himself elegantly attired in jacket and tie. With his face projecting slightly out towards the viewer, he presents himself as an inquisitive, ambiguous and inscrutable figure.
Self-Portrait was in the Hammershøi’s family hands for a long time: upon the artist’s death it passed to his younger brother, the painter Svend Hammershøi. After Svend Hammershøi's death, it went to their sister, Anna Hammershøi, and was ultimately sold at auction in 1955.
The Hirschsprung Collection houses one of the most significant Hammershøi collections in the world. The museum’s founder, Heinrich Hirschsprung, began purchasing works by Hammershøi at an early stage of the artist’s career. The very first acquisition, An Old Woman (1886) entered his collection in 1888, and in 1896 Hirschsprung purchased one of the artist’s most important masterpieces: Portrait of a Young Woman. The Artist’s Sister, Anna Hammershøi (1885); a painting that firmly established Hammershøi’s position as a leading figure among the young generation of artists.
Last year the museum received the painting Bedroom (1890) from the now deceased English art dealer Lady Jane Abdy. In addition to paintings, the Hirschsprung Collection also owns drawings, photographs and letters by Hammershøi, including several pieces from his honeymoon in 1891.