Anna Ancher – Skagen’s Indoor and Outdoor Space at Lillehammer Museum of Art – Reviews and Recommendations

Anna Ancher - Skagen's Indoor and Outdoor Space at Lillehammer Museum of Art - Reviews and Recommendations

Bright dresses along white sandy beaches in the moonlight, hard-nosed fishermen with harsh Skagen winds shaking their hair and beards, happy and beautiful people around a long table raising their glasses on summer evenings – this is how we feel Skagen Painters, the artists’ colony that flourished in Gotland in the 1870s and 1880s.

The Lillehammer Museum of Art now displays the largest exhibition of Skagen painter Anna Ancher’s work ever.

It is characterized by contrasts

Contradictions characterize both Usher’s life and art. She came from a purely Christian background, and throughout her life she was part of an inner missionary community, at the same time she was part of a free-thinking bohemian environment for artists.

Colored: Anna Ancher, “Sunshine in the Blue Living Room” (1891). Ancher is at its best when mood and color play the main role.

Photo: Skagens Art Museums

There is also tension in her art: she revolves around unconventional “female motifs” such as interiors, flowers, children, gardens, in short the nearby world associated with home.

But its model language is not traditional: it is exploratory, radical and innovative. Inspired by symbolism and post-impressionism, she simplified motifs, played with modern surface painting and explored how dancing shadows on the walls shaped pure abstract shapes.

If we ignore Christian Krogh and Elif Petersen (the two Norwegian members of the artists’ colony), Anna Ancher is undoubtedly Skagen’s most interesting painter, and the only one who conveys through her art Modernism.


Anna Ancher was already recognized when she was alive (1859-1935), and later remained one of Denmark’s most famous painters. In other words, it was by no means forgotten, but it still probably did not get its due place in art history.

"A summer evening at Skagen Sønderstrand" by P.S. Krøyer (1893).

Classic style: One of the most famous works of the so-called Skagen painters dates back to 1893 and is called “A Summer Evening at Skagen Sunderstrand”. It was drawn by PS Krøyer, and one of the women in the picture is actually Anna Ancher. The other woman is Marie Kreuer.

Photo: Skagens Kunstmuseer/Skagen Art Museums

Previously, Ancher was considered exclusively within the framework of the Skagen colony: through this research-based exhibition at Lillehammer of about 200 paintings, a large number of drawings, letters and sketchbooks, as well as an art documentary, they were presented for the first time as part of the emerging modernity in Europe.

She was married to the famous painter Michael Uncher, and although it is asserted in all sources that they were a good and equal marriage, Michael was still the greatest stature as an artist.

Actress Anna Ancher.

The Great Painter: Anna Ancher (1859-1935) was partly in the shadow of her artist husband Michael Anker in her day, but it is clear today which was the great painter.

Photo: Copyright Skagens Art Museums

In the artist’s house in Skagen, he was the one who owned the large studio where people could come and look at what he had painted. Anna only had a small study where a few were allowed in. She was always dissatisfied with what she made, and rarely wanted to reveal herself as an artist.

Today, however, it is clear which was the great painter. Michael was a skilled and consistent artist who portrayed reality correctly, realistically and ideally with ease. But these are Anna Ancher photos Wonderful interesting. For her, the stimulus was only a detour in the study of painting itself – its possibilities and limitations.

fertile and uneven

It’s great to walk through Anna’s lush and uneven art.

From very early in her career, she vacillated between something forward-looking and somewhat retro: in some of the images we see she draws inspiration from classical painting, including from the eighteenth-century master Jean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin, while at other times from It is clear that he was influenced by more modern artists such as Paul Gauguin. Here it dwells on the roof and separates the colors from the realistic room description.

Mission meeting drawing by Anna Cher

Life Described: Anna Ancher, “A Missionary Encounter” (1903). In some of the images we see strange size ratios and an unclear description of depth.

Photo: Skagens Art Museums

It seems like from time to time she doesn’t really know which direction she wants to go – whether that’s a classic perspective, or the modern surface painting she wants to work with. Perhaps that is why some of the images have strange aspect ratios and vague depth descriptions.

But for the times when you find balance, especially when light and color play a big role, she emerges as a very talented painter.

There are few pictures that really describe something. When you paint a focused Sybec that works, it is not a socially realistic study of the grueling daily wear and tear.

Anna Ancher is primarily interested in mood, light and color. The painting is nothing but sunlight falling obliquely through the window and the strange purple shadows that the potted plants cast on the yellow-green wall.

Puts art in context

The Lillehammer Museum of Art exhibits essentially the same pictures that were shown in Denmark, but Lillehammer’s curator Cecily Skidde wanted to give the Norwegian gallery a distinct feel.

By displaying many different versions of the same motifs, you will emphasize Anna Ancher’s unique way of working. For example, an entire section of the exhibition is devoted to sypiken where we can see how Ancher approached this idea through sketches, pastels, drawings and paintings.

Anna Ancher, Cindy Fiskerbage.  Approximately.  1899. Randers Museum of Art.

Mood and Light: «The Fisherman’s Girl Sewing», approx. 1899, is one of many paintings with sypiken themes.

Photo: LARS BAY / Randers Art Museum

drawing of a woman in the living room

Shadow Play: Anna Ancher, “Interiors with Sewing” (circa 1890).

Photo: Skagens Art Museums

Building on these iterations, Skeide also chose to invite contemporary artist Hanne Borchgrevink, who works similarly with repetition and explores color, space, light, and minimalism in her studies of homes.

Borchgrevink was given the task of painting the walls behind Anna Ancher’s work with themes of light and religion in two halls. I painted one of the walls a shimmering violet blue, while the other became almost a phosphorescent yellow.

Installation view of Anna Ancher's gallery.

SLOW STRENGTH: The yellow wall becomes a backdrop for the image of Ancher’s daughter running toward us as the bright light makes her golden braids glow.

Photo: Veslem @y Furuseth / Veslem @y Furuseth

Installation photo from the Lillehammer Museum of Art

Repetition: Anna reposted and explored the same idea over and over again. Here the gallery shows how I worked with the idea of ​​women’s sewing.

Photo: Veslemøy Furuseth / Lillehammer Art Museum

Installation view of Anna Ancher's gallery.

Colored by a Norwegian artist: Bringing in Borchgrevink, they also explore the boundary between the usual task of painting a wall and creating a painting.

Photo: Veslemøy Furuseth / Lillehammer Art Museum

On this big yellow wall, a small painting of Ancher’s daughter hangs towards us as bright light makes her golden braids glow.

Borschgrevinc’s glossy monochrome painting becomes a backdrop, which effectively emphasizes both the strength and vitality of the Ancher project, but also the innovation and modernity that characterizes her paintings.

« Anna publish Skagen’s Indoor and Outdoor Space »is an interesting exhibit that I think will be very attractive to professionals and broadbands. I’d be very surprised if it didn’t get a huge hit from the audience.

Queen Sonia opens an art exhibition at the Lillehammer Museum of Art, March 18, 2021.

Celebrity Opening: Queen Sonya participated in the opening of the exhibition at the Lillehammer Museum of Art on March 18 this year. As we can see curator Cecily Skid

Photo: Geir Olsen / NTB

Additional reading recommended:

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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