Discovery of a hidden masterpiece by Valdemar Schønheyder Møller

Dansk Kunst Kunst Maleri Nordic art Skagensmalere Valdemar Schønheyder Møller Vilhelm Hammershøi Vinterlandskab Winter Landscape



On the 21. Sept. this beautiful winter landscape by Valdemar Schønheyder Møller will be up for auction at Bruun Rasmussen Kunstauktioner estimated at 150.000-200.000 DKK.

Valdemar Schønheyder Møller. Winter landscape in sunlight, 1885

On a recent trip to a client’s summerhouse, tasked with evaluating the art in it, we accidentally discovered this painting in a stairwell. The owners had no idea that it was in fact an early piece by Valdemar Schønheyder Møller (1864-1905), an important figure of the Danish art scene in the late 19th century. Schønheyder Møller was pretty much forgotten but recently his importance and significance has again come to light, mostly due to his connection to Vilhelm Hammershøi and a recent exhibition and newfound research by Den Hirschsprungske Samling.

Schønheyder Møller's signature and dating '85'


As far as we know this is the first known oil painting by the artist. Having painted such a striking landscape at the age of 21, his talent and direction is already clear from the beginning of his career. It is also almost unbelievable, that at such a young age, he had already found his artistic trademark. Schønheyder Møller is known for his landscapes in backlight, as seen here, where the trees cast a light shadow into the foreground. The painting is a shining example of melancholia and light of nordic art from the 2nd half of the 19th century. The painting exhibits exactly what Schønheyder Møller is known for with light being the primary subject, and more specifically backlight, a source of light that floods the viewer

A portrait of the young artist

Throughout his life Schønheyder Møller was challenged with being manic depressive, and in his later years he started losing his eye sight. He died at only 41 in 1905, having spend the final years of his life in a mental hospital. Schønheyder Møller was always trying to capture the magic of light.

It is speculated that the painting was originally aquired by an eye doctor who treated Schønheyder Møller in his last years. Møller was, like his friend and colleague, Vilhelm Hammershøi, fascinated by the natural properties of light and dedicated to capturing its beauty, as witnessed by this magnificent piece.

Due to the international demand and recent surge of the prices on Schønheyder Møller we decided with the client that the piece should be sold on auction. We are very excited to see the outcome of the auction, and who the lucky buyer will be.

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