The young couple moved in 1898 in an old building of a historic district of Copenhagen, at Strandgade 30. Their large apartment with high ceilings is furnished in a minimalism that contrasts with the admiration of Vilhelm for the scenes of the Dutch golden age.
The gigantic portrait of five painters painted in 1901-1902, 190 x 340 cm, shows his closest colleagues including his own brother with austere and gloomy attitudes. Vilhelm and Ida have no more friends and no need for them.
The apartment at Strandgade 30 is their world. It is poorly lit and Vilhelm observes its dull colors. He becomes a colorist of subtle hues and the art critics like now to compare him with Morandi. Ida is often present, from back, sometimes busy reading, in an attitude that systematically excludes any anecdote and emotion.
They are however not recluses. Their outings are the subject of landscape paintings. The dreary countryside is of extreme coldness without any animation.
On March 1 in Copenhagen, Bruun Rasmussen sells an interior view without window of Strandgade 30, oil on canvas 70 x 54 cm painted in 1904, lot 10 estimated Kr 4M. The reading brunette is for sure Ida, the only person who is still accepted in Vilhelm's privacy.
The artist improves his technique. His painting becomes glossy, bringing in a showroom the dramatic effect of the presence of the empty apartment. An oil on canvas 51 x 56 cm painted shortly before their departure from Strandgate 30 in 1909 was sold for £ 2,05M including premium by Sotheby's on May 21, 2015. The artist had accepted the intrusion of sunlight through the carefully closed window.
SOLD for kr 3.7M before fees, equivalent to € 535K