Beyond Gobbledigook

Vilhelm Hammershoi, Interior with a Girl at the Clavier, 1901. Oil on canvas.

Posted in Oil on canvas by Jessica on December 24, 2009

Vilhelm Hammershoi, Interior with a Girl at the Clavier, 1901. Oil on canvas.

Hammershoi is a Danish painter known for his quiet and calm paintings. He is most famous for his lack of bright colors, and instead, opts for muted ones. His work is often described as melancholy, as the figures are always turned away from the viewer.

I wouldn’t necessarily call his work melancholy. I love the muted tones, especially the blue in the wall with the white patches of paint scattered across it. It feels as though I’m not looking right into a scene, a cloud is covering my vision. It gives it such a soft and ethereal touch.

However, in this painting, Interior with a Girl at the Clavier, I feel as though I am invading the girl’s privacy. I stand behind a table to keep my distance from her, in case she hears me. Maybe I feel this way because that’s how I view my piano–it’s my space to practice, to make mistakes, to read my sheet music. That’s probably why I enjoy the Steinart practice rooms at Brown, so much. Even though they are these strange boxes you step into, you can lock the door, they are soundproof. You can practice without any distractions. And that’s what I think Hammershoi captured so well.

J

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