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Vilhelm Hammershøi: 'Job'. (1887). The Hirschsprung Collection
Vilhelm Hammershøi: 'Job'. (1887). The Hirschsprung Collection

Hammershøi’s dark masterpiece

Corner Display

9 October - 12 January 2020

This autumn’s Corner Display focuses on one of Vilhelm Hammershøi’s largest and most enigmatic paintings. His masterpiece Job (1887) is, quite literally, the darkest painting in all of Danish art history. Over time it has darkened to such an extent that we can barely see the figure in it any more. Only under strong side light does the suffering biblical male figure emerge from the darkness, his naked body frozen in place.

When the work was exhibited at Charlottenborg in 1888, it prompted both admiration and outrage among critics and fellow artists. The large, dark painting seemed strangely experimental, and this still holds true today. The Corner Display Hammershøi’s dark masterpiece exhibits the enigmatic painting and relates the story of its genesis, reception and dark afterlife.

Curious to know more about Hammershøi's dark masterpiece?

Hear the museum's director Gertrud Oelsner who tells about the reception on Hammershøi's dark painting Job and conservator Lin Rosa Spaabæk who tells about her initial round of conservation work on the big painting.

Corner Displays

Corner Displays are small, intimate exhibitions presented in a corner of the museum. Each Corner Display focuses on a particular corner of the collection, highlighting masterpieces from the collection, hidden gems and oddities.