Vilhelm Hammershoi was a Danish realist painter whose subject centered mainly around photo-like paintings of the interior of his house and a lone, solitary woman. Born in Copenhagen in 1864, Hammershoi began his training early in his life and attended the Royal Academy of Art in Copenhagen by his mid-teens. His first showing in 1885, at the age of 21, created a stir due to his original approach to realism with his muted colors and washed-out look to his paintings. His style of a lifeless and monotonous tone continued throughout his work which brought originality to it. Hammershoi also painted a few portraits and landscapes that also had a desolate feel, though the paintings of the interior of his house seem to be the most popular.
In 1891, he married Ida Ilsted, who would be his main inspiration in his paintings. The couple never had any children and though they led a solitary life in Copenhagen, they were known to travel a bit throughout Europe. In 1916, Vilhelm Hammershoi died of throat cancer in Copenhagen at the age of 52.