Hammershoi’s White Doors more than doubles estimate

Vilhelm Hammershoi’s White Doors, Strandgade 30 (1899) sold for £1.4m ($1.8m) at Sotheby’s 19th Century European Paintings auction in London on June 6.

This was the first time the piece had been offered at auction.


Hammershoi's White Doors was offered at auction for the first time, on June 6

Danish playwright Axel Otto Henriques bought the work directly from the artist in the early 1900s. It had remained in his family ever since.

The work more than doubled its £600,000 ($775,500) estimate, although it fell short of troubling the artist’s £2m ($2.4m) 2015 record.  

White Doors is from Hammershoi’s most celebrated series, which focuses on the interior of his rooms in the Christianshavn district of Copenhagen.

These enigmatic works are lit by natural light. Ghostly figures are sometimes shown, their faces turned away.

Demand is growing for Hammershoi’s work, which could mean we start seeing more of it at auction.

Other highlights of the sale included Joaquin Sorolla’s Greek Girls on the Shore, which made £692,750 ($895,379).

Sorolla is one of the most enduringly popular artists of his era.

This work is typical of his historical paintings. The big prices are reserved for his deeply evocative beach scenes, with one achieving a record $4.8m in 2013.

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