Painted in 1901, this is an intimate composition of a young woman sitting in contemplation on the edge of her bed. Ilsted follows a long tradition in Danish art of depicting quiet domestic interiors. Illuminated only by an oil lamp and the faint light outside the window, he imbues this image with a mix of cool and warm shades of color. This, along with the subtle ambiguity of the work, draw the viewer into this private space in time.
Born in Saxkobing in 1861, little is known about Ilsted’s formal training as an artist. His work is often compared with that of his brother-in-law and fellow Dane, Vilhelm Hammershoi, whose palette was more subdued. Ilsted and Hammershoi both exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1889, where Ilsted received an Honorable Mention, and at the Exposition Universelle of 1900, where Ilsted received a bronze medal.
Museums containing Ilsted’s work include: Paris (Art Moderne); Copenhagen; Aalborg and Crefeld.