Tuesday, 9 September 2008


Ida Hammershoi, the artist's wife, amidst the statuary at the Royal Academy in London. Sadly, if not already packed away to make room for the next exhibition she very soon will be. Her face, her hands (below), his seeing of them, have got into my mind and stayed there.

The word muse, as used in modern times, has deeply negative connotations to any feminist, implying as it does a woman as passive, decorative inspiration to a creative man. Surely not so, or not only that, in their case. The portraits are so unconventional, so naked and vulnerable, but not in an objectifying way. So solid, so subtle is her presence. Intelligence and feeling shine from her often tired, sad face.

She, and the things they both lived among, were enough for him because he looked so deeply, saw so much in everything.

(Sorry if you don't like Hammershoi - I'm just a little bit obsessed)


Dale said...

It's wonderful.

Zhoen said...

A challenging, possibly prickly muse, then.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

The top photo is fantastic and what a great idea to pair the two of them so beautifully.
I agree about the hands and the rest.