Sophus Vermehren

Interior With Elderly Man Sleeping

Sophus Vermehren

Interior With Elderly Man Sleeping

This fine mid-20th-century oil painting by Danish artist Sophus Vermehren (1866-1950) depicts an elderly man sleeping in an armchair while a woman comforts him. It’s possibly a self-portrait.

Sophus Vermehren was an award-winning academy-trained painter predominantly known for genre scenes and interiors. He often selected narratives which emphasised the bonds within families and the love for one’s children.

His father was the eminent Golden Age painter, Frederik Vermehren (1823-1910), and his brother, Gustav Vermehren (1863-1931), was also an accomplished artist. In 1944, when he completed this piece, he was 78, and living with his wife Yelva Petrea Sophie Vermehren. During this later period, he produced numerous scenes with a reflective, sombre, quality. In our view, they remain some of his finest works.

His draughtsmanship here is exemplary. Note the coffee cup with its gilt rim, the pile of buttered toast with resting knife, and the large glass of milk. It’s a still life within itself.

Sophus Vermehren studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and exhibited regularly at the Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition.

Signed/dated lower left and held within a gilt frame, which is probably original.

Learn more about Sophus Vermehren in our directory.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 33” x 36½” / 84cm x 93cm
Year of creation: c. 1944
Provenance: Private collection, Denmark.
Condition: Assessed and approved by our conservator. Cleaned. Revarnished. The frame is somewhat tired with various surface losses - it’s been lightly restored, rather than replaced, as it’s original.
Artist’s auction maximum: £16,532
Our reference: BRV1744

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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