In the works which most fascinate, there is a sense of a stage set, as if a theatre was built and then simply left. The play not so much as written, and the sets just left – and the actors.
A psychological drama with no content?
...Hammershøi was always a lone wolf. In 1885, his art teacher said, “I have a pupil who paints most oddly. I do not understand him, but believe he is going to be important and do not try to influence him.” He limited his subject matter to interiors, portraits of his family and close friends, townscapes and landscapes. By stripping the scenes of any unnecessary details he abolished any sense of narrative from his work.
...That enigmatic quality permeates Hammershøi’s works. For The Buildings of the Asiatic Company (1902), he broke convention by leaving the most important part of the painting, the middle, completely blank. He’s left out the towers and buildings that would normally be seen in the background. Viewers are left with a void, and it’s up to them to fill in the space.