Thursday, November 24, 2011

Window Light

Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi lived from 1864 to 1916. Like most other Scandinavian art-makers, his posthumous fame in the wider world remains slight even though he is venerated locally.

It is a rainy, dark-grey, cold Thanksgiving morning in Northern California. Mabel Watson Payne is 3,0000 miles away visiting luckier relatives, and Hammershøi makes an accurate marker for that feast-day emptiness that so famously threatens the unwary.