The Vilhelm Hammershøi Digital Archive – an interdisciplinary research project on the materials and working methods of the Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review


A 5-year interdisciplinary research project The Vilhelm Hammershøi Digital Archive (ViHDA), launched in 2021, is carried out at the National Gallery of Denmark (SMK) by a cross-disciplinary team of scientists, paintings conservators, imaging experts, art historians and digital experts, in collaboration with Danish museums and private collectors, as well as museums and owners abroad who hold works of art by Hammershøi.

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The project is mapping the formation and evolution of Hammershøi’s working methods, materials and techniques through a systematic visual, technical and scientific documentation of his works, including MA-XRF scanning, infrared reflectography, X-ray radiography and SEM-EDX. In spite of the growing reputation of the artist, very little has been known about his techniques or materials. Based on the first 80 paintings analysed in the project, this research, which will become available in an open-access digital archive, has already provided significant insights into the distinctive artistic qualities and practices of Hammershøi. Known for his use of greyish and toned-down shades, Hammershøi in fact made extensive use of colourful pigments such as cobalt blue and cadmium yellow.

This poster will explain the main objectives of the interdisciplinary research project, focusing on the benefits of creating synergies across fields of expertise, and how scientific analyses can contribute to an established art historical narrative of an artist, and on the other hand, how art historical knowledge can also guide and qualify the interpretation of results acquired by scientific analyses.
Publikationsdato23 nov. 2023
StatusUdgivet - 23 nov. 2023
BegivenhedBridging the gap: Synergies between art history and conservation - National Museum, Oslo, Norge
Varighed: 23 nov. 202324 nov. 2023


KonferenceBridging the gap
LokationNational Museum