J. F. Willumsen: “Aftensuppen” (The Evening Soup). Signed J.F.W. 1917. Oil on canvas. 85×105 cm.


“Aftensuppen” (The Evening Soup). Signed J.F.W. 1917. On the reverse stamp: Conrad M. Pineus Konstsamling Nr. 237. Oil on canvas. 85×105 cm.

Literature: L. Swane: Udstillinger (Tilskueren, 1920: I, p. 461). Literature: E. Blomberg: “J.F. Willumsen och hans utställinger”, in Stockholm and Copenhagen, (Konstrevy X, 1934, p. 45, ill.). Literature: I. Rydbeck: “En kunstsamling i Göteborg”, (Konstrevy X, 1934, p. 142). Literature: Carl Nordenfalk: Conrad Pineus konstsamling. No. 237, ill. p. 388.

Exhibited: “Nyare Dansk Kunst”; Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm, 1919, cat. no. 20 (no. 376a). Exhibited: J.F. Willumsen separate exhibition, Den Frie Udstilling, Copenhagen, 1923, cat. no. 350. Exhibited: Conrad M. Pineus' Collection, Konsthallen, Göteborg, 1925. Exhibited: Retrospective exhibition, Nationalmuseum Stockholm, 1934, cat. no. 47 (no. 17). Exhibited: Retrospective exhibition, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, 1934, cat. no. 22 (no. 8). Exhibited: Galerie S:T Lucas, Stockholm, 1943, cat. no. 81. Provenance: Conrad Pineus' collection, Göteborg. Acquired directly from the artist; hence by descent in the family.

'Dress rehearsal' for the final version located at the J.F. Willumsen Museum in Frederikssund, INV 334 (Gift from J.F. Willumsen in 1947)

“I acquired the painting while visiting the artist in Nice in 1919. On this occasion, I also met Henri Matisse. He arranged it so that we, Matisse, Willumsen and I, could pay a visit to Auguste Renoir in Cagnes. I was full of enthusiasm and reverence towards Renoir, who was spiritual and lively. Willumsen thought that both Renoir and Matisse were poor painters. I showed Matisse one of Willumsen’s paintings, and Matisse simply sat there with a rather indifferent air about him: 'C'est possible, que c'est bon - moi, je ne le comprends pas!' (It’s possible that it’s good – but I don’t understand it)" (Conrad M. Pineus)

"Lamplight. Edith and the two girls at the dinner table. Edith is serving the soup. The lamp shines like a sun above the figures. The price? Edith says I must not sell it [the finished version] for less than DKK 25,000, she will keep it herself if no one is willing to pay this price. I think it is one of my finest paintings.” (J.F. Willumsen on the finished version of the motif – which today belongs to the J.F. Willumsen Museum – to his friend Alice Bloch in 1918, quote from the J.F. Willumsen Museum's website)

J.F. Willumsen was during the period very inspired by El Greco's dramatically contrasting light and use of mannerism in the depiction of his figures: “ (...) Willumsen recalls the smallest details in his work on this major piece of art. The family scene without any sense of cosiness, without any kind of domesticity, but still in a peculiarly intimate atmosphere created in an artistic rapture, an ecstasy that elevates the work to a mysterious devotional image inspired by El Greco. The mother and the two children are sitting around the table, and above them, the lamp ”explodes“ in a mustard yellow light that becomes the main colour of the image. It is only on the left side that a red colour is brought into the composition. The feeling in the children's expectant posture concerning the action of the mother and the excessive movement in the figures create a fine sense of interaction.” (J.F. Willumsen: “Mine Erindringer fortalt til Ernst Mentze” (My Memoirs as Told to Ernst Mentze), Copenhagen 1953, p. 216)

This lot is subject to Artist's Royalty.

Condition report on request. Please contact: modernart@bruun-rasmussen.dk


Paintings and sculptures, 4 December 2019


Modern paintings


J. F. Willumsen (b. Copenhagen 1863, d. Cannes 1958)


800,000–1,000,000 kr.


Price realised

700,000 kr.