Carl Vilhelm Holsøe was born in Lyngbye near Arhus in Denmark. He studied at the Royal Academy in Copenhagen between 1882-1884, and subsequently at the Artist’s ‘Studieskole’ under Peder Severin Krøyer (1851-1909), perhaps the most influential Danish artist of his generation.
In 1886, Holsøe made his debut at the Charlottenberg December exhibition with an interior scene, a subject for which he was to become renowned. Interior scenes, often sparsely furnished rooms were a feature of Danish painting in the latter part of the 19th Century. Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916) a contemporary of Holsøe was also a painter who specialised in such scenes, frequently, like Holsøe including a single, invariably, female figure. Holsøe achieves a defined space in these interiors through harmonious colours, subdued light and the careful juxtaposition of objects. He was enormously popular throughout Scandinavia and the rest of Europe, receiving an honourable mention at the Universal Exposition in Paris in 1889 and a medal at the Munich Exhibition of 1891.
His works can be found in museums in: Copenhagen and Munich.