Interior with the artist's wife reading at a table with a silver coffee pot and “Blå blomst” (Blue Flower) porcelain tureen from Royal Copenhagen. Signed C. Holsøe. Oil on canvas. 81×69 cm.
Carl Holsøe went to Krøyer's painting school, where he met Vilhelm Hammershøi, and a mutual influence between the two painters, whose motifs are so close to each other, has undoubtedly taken place. Holsøe was a shy man and lived for a time secluded and isolated in a small house by Jonstrup Vang. He was married twice. First time with Emilie Heise (1868–1930) in 1894. Second time just before his death in 1935 with Ingeborg Margrethe Knudsen (1900-?).
Carl Holsøe's friendship with and inspiration from Vilhelm Hammershøi is apparent in this interior picture with the back-turned woman.
In the profound and recently published book about Hammershøi, Rosenvold Hvidt og Oelsner describe this very motif with the back-turned woman who is so characteristic of Hammershøi and Holsøe and they describe the motif's close connection with contemporary photography, which fascinated not only Hammershøi but also his friend Holsøe.
“The neck is the subconscious part of the face, it is said, but pictures like these deprive themselves of any sort of psychoanalytical interpretations. They are situated in a field between reality and artificiality. The artificial consists of the entirety of the constructed mise-en-scène: it is clear that the artists have determined how the models should pose and turn their back to the viewer. These are not random snapshots, but as viewers, we still often accept the concept since it is seductive and exciting to approach the subject from this angle.”
(Annette Rosenvold Hvidt and Gertrud Oelsner, "Vilhelm Hammershøi, på sporet af det åbne billede” (Vilhelm Hammershøi, in search of the open image), 2018, p. 144 (in Danish)).
The description goes well with the present painting. Rarely has Holsøe been moving so close to his motif as here.