This work is characteristic of Hansen’s painted interiors; the perspective, light source and detail carefully studied and calibrated to obtain an extremely realistic trompe l’oeil effect of space and depth. He was noted for the detail of his paintings, and for the long time he spent achieving such realism. His training in architectural and perspective drawing is evident in such studies – in his pictures of city streets, buildings in landscape settings, interiors of churches and galleries (such as The Palazzo Ducale, Venice, The Palazzo Borghese, Rome, View from the forum romanum, etc.).
This particular depiction of a domestic room is especially charming, with its harmony of coral and dull jade green, the large, sunny windows with their shaped pelmets, and the light diffused in pane-shaped beams through the lace curtains.
Claus Adolf Heinrich-Hansen was born in 1859 in Copenhagen, and died in Fredensborg in 1925. His father, Heinrich Hansen, was an architectural painter and senior professor of art. Adolf was at first intended for the priesthood, and studied theology for four years; he then attended C.F Andersens School of Drawing, and later the Copenhagen Royal Academy of Art (1883-86). He obtained a diploma in art in 1887, after which he worked as an assistant to his father. From 1893-96 he followed his father as a teacher at the Royal Academy of Art. He went on painting expeditions and also worked in Germany, Belgium, Italy and Normandy, and exhibited widely – in Paris, Chicago (both in the World Fairs), Berlin and Munich, as well as in his native Denmark. He painted city-scapes, portraits, genre picture of people in folk costume, interiors of domestic buildings and churches, and – later in life – horses and dogs.
He was married twice, to Karen Leuning, daughter of senior justice minister, who died in 1905, and in 1917 Ellen Kretzschmer, a banker’s daughter. The latter may have posed for the painting, Mother and child at the beach, of 1915.
Works in public collections include: Interior of the Marienkirche in Danzig, (Museen Schleswig Holstein & Hamburg).