Author Topic: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi  (Read 35560 times)

Offline Monika

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2010, 04:13:29 pm »
this is all very interesting. Thanks

Offline Andrew

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2010, 07:48:56 pm »
Your man in Boston (one of them) has found the Vilhelm Hammershoi in the Museum of Fine Arts.  This is a painting I have never seen before and which I am pretty sure has only fairly recently been hung as part of their regular rotation.  They say they have 450,000 objects, only a fraction of which can be shown at any time, though it will help a bit when they open their new wing in November, Art of the Americas, which allow them to show more of their American collection and will also free up some of the galleries where American art is now hung for European works.   This painting has actually been in their collection since the 1980's.  I am sure it has been up before, but I have not seen it.  If I had, it would definitely have registered on this lover of houses and light.

I'm just glad they let you photograph anything in their regular collection as long as you don't use flash or tripod.





This looks to be a good illustration of what Prieto was intending to achieve - 'For close-ups, I added an Image 80 on the ground to give a sense of light bouncing off the floor.'

The subject of this painting is certainly the light, bouncing first off the windowsill and floor, then back up the wainscoting with a sharp reflection which preserves the shadows of the window mullion and vertical muntins, and glowing up the door and off the pictures.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2010, 07:58:15 pm »
Beautiful! I'm glad as well that you're allowed to photograph it!!

There are two other scenes that come to mind...the telephone scene with Lureen surrounded by a backlight on her platinumed hair and the very last scene in the movie, where the light comes through the window and shines blue on the closet wall.  :P
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Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2010, 11:14:14 pm »


Jane's writing 'desk' at Chawton and...

« Last Edit: October 17, 2010, 12:39:04 am by Pooh MM Bear, Esq. »
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Offline chowhound

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2010, 03:19:06 pm »
I notice that nobody - including myself - has commented on what Rodrigo Prieto says was the chief reason for making the living room look the way it does. He says: "the goal was to suggest that Ennis feels uncomfortable in the stale, monochromatic atmosphere."

Is this "goal" achieved? I suppose it is but I assume Ennis would have felt "uncomfortable", given the social situation he finds himself in, no matter what the setting. But I suppose this "uncomfortableness" is rendered more prominent by the stark Hammershoi type setting, rather than if the three of them had been  sitting in comfy armchairs by the farmhouse fire.

However, I think there's more to be said about the setting of this scene than what Rodrigo Prieto has to say in his brief comment.

Offline Andrew

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2010, 07:51:37 pm »
Yes, for me they succeeded.  This has as much to do with the decor and costumes as the lighting.  The whole house is in that same blue white, as if you can see the grey-blue lead in the paint.  My mother, who grew up on a dairy farm, said the skim milk from which the cream had been churned out was called 'bluejohn' and was often given to the pigs.   It was probably also used to make milk paint.  Both the Twists are in dim blues and greys and their eyes also appear blue (his) and hazel (hers).    The light is in fact carefully controlled; it is a sunny day, but the curtains muffle the light, which is also as if bleached out by the brown land around the house.  Compared to the Hammershoi painting in the MFA Boston, the light is more lifeless, just as the room itself feels closer to material deprivation.




Offline chowhound

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2010, 05:26:52 pm »
One way of approaching the Hammershoi-like starkness of the Twists' living room with its single wall decoration of a cross and its diffuse lighting, is to contrast this with what we find above in Jack's bedroom.

There, the room has colours and a very varied collection of "things". There's the colourful bedspread and pillow on the single bed - note the reds - the desk with its toys and a rather crude, framed painting of cowboys herding cattle above, (could it be by Jack?), the rifle on the rack, the dresser with the baby boots, clock and covered wagon on top and another painting half seen above, Jack's clothes, and, of course, finally, the shirts. The net curtains are not closed in this room but open, allowing natural light to fall  and, of course, the window opens, allowing access to the natural world outside.

I'm not sure where such a contrast might take us but it's undoubtedly there, so I thought it was worth noting.

Offline chowhound

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2010, 05:50:52 pm »
One very small question. Can anyone identify what is the object fixed to the wall to the left of the door as you look at the door? You can see it quite clearly in the screencap of the living room that Andrew posted just above. Is it something for hanging coats? I assume the black circle on the other side of the door is OMT"s hat as Ennis's creamy/white one can be seen upside down on that little table by the door.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2010, 06:58:18 pm »
It looks to me like a small framed mirror with hooks for hanging up keys, and I think those are keys on loops hanging from it. The small box hanging from the wall at the far left is a match holder.
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Offline southendmd

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Re: The Twists' living room and the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2010, 07:11:04 pm »
One very small question. Can anyone identify what is the object fixed to the wall to the left of the door as you look at the door? You can see it quite clearly in the screencap of the living room that Andrew posted just above. Is it something for hanging coats? I assume the black circle on the other side of the door is OMT"s hat as Ennis's creamy/white one can be seen upside down on that little table by the door.

I believe it is a small mirror, but rather than keys, hanging from it are clothes brushes.  Presumably, one would brush off of one's coat or hat before leaving the house.  Such an old-fashioned thing!  

Here's something similar: 


But that is what strikes me about the Twist house:  everything is so old, older than Jack's childhood.  The furnishings look like they date to the 20s or 30s, maybe even earlier.