The painting was bought at Sotheby’s 19th century European Paintings sale on June 6. The Danish artist’s Copenhagen apartment, that he shared with his wife Ida from 1898 until 1909, provided the setting for this painting. Its sparsely furnished interconnecting rooms, grey walls and solid white-painted doors provided the setting for many of his most recognisable compositions.
This 1899 artwork was most recently owned by the late Jens Risom (1916-2016), a renowned Danish-American furniture designer, having been handed down through three generations of the same family. It had never been offered at auction before and was unseen in public since 1983 when it was included in a Hammershøi retrospective in New York and Washington DC.
Nina Wedell-Wedellsborg, head of Sotheby’s Denmark, said: “I’m thrilled that White Doors will be coming home to Denmark after a long sojourn in America, and that it can once again be enjoyed and appreciated by Danish and international audiences.”