Still life with apples and pears in a kylix. Unsigned. Inscribed on underlying paper Vilhelm Hammershøi Julen (Christmas) 1874. Pencil on paper. 26×30 cm. Unframed.
From 1872 to 1876 Vilhelm Hammershøi received private drawing lessons from Niels Christian Kierkegaard (1806–1882).
Hammershøi's mother had an unfailing belief in her son's artistic talent, dating back to his earliest childhood, and throughout her life she collected virtually all the material by and about her son; his earliest drawings, newspaper clippings, accounts of his drawing lessons, etc.. Much of this material is today at the Hirschsprung Collection. It is probably his mother who has written her son's name and dated the drawing on the underlying paper.
Provenance: The collection of curator Harald Olsen. Thence by descent.
Harald Olsen was a curator at the National Gallery of Denmark 1949–83 and good friends with Alfred Bramsen's daughter, Karen Bramsen (1877–1970) and her husband Gustav Falck (1874–1955), who from 1925 to 1930 was director of the National Gallery of Denmark.
Most of the early works by Vilhelm Hammershøi in Harald Olsen's collection were probably acquired directly from Karen Bramsen.