Station: [4] Christian Krohg: „On the Bridge“ (ca. 1905)

A bearded fisherman in oilskin and sou’wester is standing on the bridge of his boat. He is leaning against the tilt of the ship, as it is teetering perilously between grey wave crests. Through his binoculars he looks straight at us. We, the viewers of the painting, are just a few metres away from him and have been spotted! As we return his gaze, the fisherman draws us right into the depicted action.

Everything is in motion around us; in the midst of the raging waves, the boat rushes diagonally away underneath us; seawater washes over its deck and wind gusts lash our faces.

In 1879, the Norwegian artist Christian Krohg travelled to Skagen for the first time. He was not the only painter to be drawn to the remote Danish fishing village. In search of new subjects, numerous artists made their way there. Those who took up permanent residence in the town or visited it regularly — like Krohg — joined ranks and formed an artists’ colony. Many members of this group explored the light and the landscape of Skagen in their work. Krohg, however, focused primarily on the dangerous working life of the fishermen. His painting “On the Bridge” is from this creative period: it is a powerful tribute to the fishermen of Skagen and their lives defined by the wind and waves.