Friday 20 January 2012

Anna Ancher - Danish painter

Having recently featured the work of Danish-born artist Soren Emil Carlsen (1853 – 1932), I thought I’d take a look at the work another Danish painter who was a contemporary, Anna Ancher (1859 – 1935). Ancher is associated with the ‘Skagen Painters’, an artist’s colony in the very north of Jutland.

She was born Anna Kirstine Brøndum in Skagen, Denmark, the daughter of Erik Andersen Brøndum (1820–1890) and Ane Hedvig Møller (1826-1916). She was the only one of the Skagen Painters who was actually born and grew up in Skagen where her father owned the Brøndums Hotel. The artistic talent of Anna Ancher became obvious at an early age and she grew acquainted with pictorial art via the many artists who settled to paint in Skagen.

While she studied drawing for three years at the Vilhelm Kyhn College of Painting in Copenhagen, she developed her own style and was a pioneer in observing the interplay of different colours in natural light. She also studied drawing in Paris at the atelier of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes along with Marie Triepcke, who would marry Peder Severin Krøyer, another Skagen painter. In 1880 she married fellow painter Michael Ancher, whom she met in Skagen. They had one daughter, Helga Ancher. Despite pressure from society that married women should devote themselves to household duties, she continued painting after marriage.

Danish 1000 Kroner note issued in 1998 featuring Anna and Michael Ancher

Anna Ancher is considered to be one of the great Danish pictorial artists by virtue of her abilities as a character painter and colourist. Her art found its expression in Nordic art's modern breakthrough towards a more truthful depiction of reality, e.g. in Blind Ane (1882) and The Girl in the Kitchen (c1883–1886).

1882 Blind Ane (Ane Chrestense Nielsdatter) 
oil on canvas 51 x 40 cm

c1883-6 Girl in the Kitchen

Ancher preferred to paint interiors and simple themes from the everyday lives of the Skagen people, especially fishermen, women and children. She was intensely preoccupied with exploring light and colour. She also created more complex compositions such as A Funeral (1891). Anna Ancher's works have often represented Danish art abroad. She was awarded the Ingenio et Arti medal in 1913 and the Tagea Brandt Rejselegat in 1924.

1891 A Funeral 
oil on canvas 104 x 125 cm

1880 Old Man Whittling a Stick 
oil on wood 39 x 29 cm

c1880-1925 In the Flower Garden 
oil on canvas 29 x 24 cm

c1880-1925 Little Girls with a Cod 
oil on canvas 81 x 63 cm

c1880-1925 Seated Woman Braiding her Hair 
oil on masonite 27 x 22 cm

1883 (Plucking Seagulls) 
oil on canvas 66 x 11 cm

1883 A Blind Woman in her Room 
oil on canvas 59 x 47 cm

c1885 A young Girl Arranging Flowers 
oil on canvas 56 x 41 cm

1886 Fischer Kræn Wollesen Mending Nets 
pastel 52 x 41 cm

1886 Tine, a Young Girl from Skagen 
oil on wood 27 x 28 cm

c1888 Evening Prayer 
oil on canvas 68 x 60 cm

1890 (Sewing Fishing Nets) 
oil on canvas 59 x 48 cm

c1890 Old Woman Resting 
pastel 29 x 39 cm

1891 Sunlight in the Blue Room 
oil on canvas 65 x 59 cm

1900 A Young Girl Plucking a Swan 
oil on canvas 87 x 75 cm

1904 Plucking the Christmas Goose 
oil on canvas 55 x 67 cm

1905 Interior with Poppies and Woman Reading 
oil on canvas 56 x 65 cm

1905 The Little Brother 
oil on canvas 69 x 62 cm

1908 Breakfast before the Hunt (Michael Ancher) 
oil on canvas 49 x 57 cm

1910 Interior with Woman Sewing 
oil on canvas

1910 Two Girls in  Sewing Lessons 
oil on canvas 63 x 54 cm

c1914 At Lunchtime 
oil on canvas 62 x 51 cm

1 comment:

  1. This was a really great read, appreciation for taking the time to put it together! Touched on some very good..
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