Station: [6] Michael Ancher | Early Evening at Skagen Beach, 1892

In 1874 Michael Ancher became one of the first painters to go to the secluded village of Skagen at the northern tip of Denmark.He soon moved there permanently and married Anna Brøndum, who was from Skagen: Anna Ancher is now considered one of the most important women painters in Danish modern art.

Together with Viggo Johansen, Christian Krohg, Peder Severin Krøyer and Laurits Tuxen, the Anchers were among the Skagen artists’ colony’s most important protagonists.They focused their attention on the fishermen and their everyday life as well as the coastal landscape itself:the convergence of sunlight, sea, light-coloured dunes and sandy beach generate a very distinctive atmosphere.

Michael Ancher’s painting “Early Evening at Skagen Beach” is a vivid example of the seaside landscape’s natural beauty and aesthetic diversity.The lighting conditions are in a state of continuous change: wind, water and clouds are constantly in motion.Far removed from the academy in Copenhagen, this fascinating natural spectacle enthralled the artists, and they sought to capture it in evocative images.With gently shifting shades of blue and green, Ancher has attuned his palette to the mild evening light.The sea is peaceful, but it does not just lie there entirely still: little waves break on the sandbanks at the front of the picture.The approach of nightfall is suggested in the distance: the last rays of the sun only very faintly redden the line of clouds above the horizon.At the same time, further up, a charming interplay unfolds between the clouds, and this is then reflected in a pool of water on the ground.

Along with the depiction of maritime landscapes, Michael Ancher is primarily known for his sometimes large-format images of the life of Skagen’s fishermen.Together with Peder Severin Krøyer and others, he founded the Skagen Museum in 1908.