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Danish painting sells for record-breaking 31.5 million kroner

Vilhelm Hammershøi's 1900 painting ‘Interior from Strandgade 30’ was sold at auction on Tuesday for 31.5 million kroner, a new Danish record.

Danish painting sells for record-breaking 31.5 million kroner
Hammershøi's ‘Interior from Strandgade 30’ was sold at auction for 31.5 million kroner. Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

Prior to auction, the painting was valued at 20-30 million kroner. It depicts Hammershøi's wife, Ida Ilsted, in the apartment in Copenhagen’s Christianshavn neighbourhood where the couple lived from 1898 to 1908.

One of Denmark’s most famous artists, Hammershøi was born in Copenhagen in 1864. Much of his work depicts portraits, architecture, and interiors in his native city.

The price for ‘Interior from Strandgade 30’, raised in Tuesday’s sale at the Bruun Rasmussen auction house, makes the work the most expensive painting ever sold at an auction in Denmark.

The previous record was held by Norwegian Edvard Munch's ‘La Promenade des Anglais’, which was sold for 6.9 million kroner in 2006.

The most expensive Danish painting ever sold is also a Hammershøi.

In December 2017, his painting ‘Interior with Woman with Piano, Strandgade 30’ from 1901 was sold for $6,211,700 by American-British auction house Sotheby's in New York.

Hammershøi's works were in the past sold for relatively modest prices, but have become considerably more sought-after since the 1980s.

'Interior from Strandgade 30' was sold by Bruun Rasmussen in 1960 for just 9,600 kroner.

The seller of the painting at Tuesday's auction is anonymous and bought the work for an unknown price in 1976.

The painting was sold to a foreign buyer, Bruun Rasmussen has confirmed.

READ ALSO: Rare Danish coin fetches record sum at auction

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ART

Paul Gauguin’s ‘Mata Mua’ returns to Spain

One of French painter Paul Gauguin's most famous paintings, "Mata Mua", will return to a Madrid museum on Monday following an agreement between the Spanish government and its owner, who took it out of the country.

mata mua madrid
Toward the end of his life, Gauguin spent ten years in French Polynesia, where he completed some of his most famous artwork Painting: Paul Gaugin

The artwork had been on display for two decades at Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza museum but in 2020 when the institution closed because of the pandemic, the painting’s owner Carmen Thyssen moved it to Andorra where she currently lives.

Her decision to take “Mata Mua” to the microstate sandwiched between Spain and France raised fears she would remove other works from her collection which are on display at the museum.

“It is expected that the painting will arrive today,” a spokeswoman for the museum told AFP.

mata-mua_gauguin-madrid

In 1989, Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza bought Mata Mua at the Sotheby’s auction in New York. Painting: Paul Gauguin

The artwork will go back on display to the public “a few days after” Thyssen signs a new agreement with the Spanish state for the lease of her collection, she added. The deal is expected to be signed on Wednesday.

Painted in 1892 in vivid, flat colours, “Mata Mua” depicts two women, one playing the flute and the other listening, set against a lush Tahitian landscape.

It is one of the stars of Thyssen’s collection of several hundred paintings which are on show at the museum, including works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Claude Monet.

Her collection had initially been displayed at the Madrid museum as part of a free loan agreement signed in February 2002 that was subsequently extended.

But in August 2021 Spain’s culture ministry announced it had reached an agreement with Thyssen to rent the collection from her for 15 years for €97.5 million ($111.5 million), with “preferential acquisition rights on all or part” of the works. The collection includes a Degas, a Hopper and a Monet.

Aside from housing her collection of works, the museum displays the collection of her late husband, Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, the Swiss heir to a powerful industrial lineage who died in Spain in 2002.

The Spanish state bought his collection in 1993 from $350 million, according to the museum.

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