World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Michael Ancher

Michael Ancher: self-portrait (1902)

Michael Peter Ancher (9 June 1849 – 19 September 1927) was a Danish realist artist. He is remembered above all for his paintings of fishermen and other scenes from the Danish fishing community in Skagen.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
  • Michael and Anna Ancher's home 3
  • Danish thousand-kroner bill 4
  • Paintings 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • Bibliography 8
  • External links 9

Early life and education

Vil han klare pynten (Will he Round the Point?, 1879)
Redningsbåden køres gennem klitterne (The Lifeboat is Taken through the Dunes), Michael Ancher (1883)

Michael Peter Ancher was born at Rutsker on the island of Bornholm. The son of a local merchant, he attended school in Rønne but was unable to complete his secondary education as his father ran into financial difficulties, forcing him to fend for himself. In 1865, he found work as an apprentice clerk at Kalø Manor near Rønde in eastern Jutland. The following year, he met the painters Theodor Philipsen and Vilhelm Groth who had arrived in the area to paint. Impressed with his own early work, they encouraged him to take up painting as a profession. In 1871, he spent a short period at C.V Nielsen's art school as a preliminary to joining the Royal Danish Academy of Art in Copenhagen later in the year. Although he spent some time at the academy, he left in 1875 without graduating.[1]

One of his student companions was Karl Madsen who invited him to travel to Skagen, a small fishing village in the far north of Jutland where the Baltic and North Sea converge. From the mid-1870s, he and Madsen became key members of a group of artists who congregated there each summer, known as the Skagen Painters.[2]

After Ancher first visited Skagen in 1874, he settled there joining the growing society of artists. The colony of painters regularly met in the Brøndums Hotel in Skagen in order to exchange ideas. In 1880 Ancher married fellow painter and Skagen native Anna Brøndum, whose father owned the Brøndums Hotel. In the first years of their marriage, the couple had a home and studio in the "Garden House", which is now in Skagens Museum's garden. After the birth of their daughter Helga in 1883, the family moved to Markvej in Skagen.[2]


He achieved his artistic breakthrough in 1879 with the painting Vil han klare pynten (Will He Round the Point?). Michael Ancher's works depict Skagen's heroic fishermen and their dramatic experiences at sea, combining realism and with classical composition. Key works include The Lifeboat is Carried Through The Dunes (1883), The Crew Are Saved (1894) and The Drowned Man (1896).[1][2]

Michael Ancher was influenced by his traditional training at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in the 1870s which imposed strict rules for composition. His marriage to Anna Ancher did, however, introduce him to the naturalistic concept of undecorated reproduction of reality and its colours. By combining the pictorial composition of his youth with the teachings of naturalism, Michael Ancher created what has been called modern monumental figurative art, such as A Baptism.[3]

A stroll on the beach

The works of Anna and Michael Ancher can among other places be seen at the The Hirschsprung Collection and Ribe Art Museum. Michael Ancher received the Eckersberg Medal in 1889 and in 1894 the Order of the Dannebrog. Originally many of Ancher's paintings hung in the dining room of the Brøndums Hotel. The painter P.S. Krøyer conceived the idea of placing paintings by different artists in the wall panels. In 1946 the dining hall was moved to Skagens Museum.[2]

Michael and Anna Ancher's home

The Skagen residence of Anne and Michael Ancher was purchased in 1884. In 1913, a large studio annex was added to the property and this also forms part of what is on display today. Upon her death in 1964, the Ancher's daughter, Helga, left the house and all of its contents to the Helga Ancher Foundation.

In 1967 the home was turned into a museum by the foundation. Original furniture and paintings created by the Anchers and other Skagen artists are shown in the restored home and studio. Temporary art exhibitions are arranged in Saxilds Gaard, another building on the property. This house is filled with displays of paintings by Michael and Anna Ancher as well as those from many other Skagen painters who made up their circle of friends. Today the house is a part of Skagens Museum.

Danish thousand-kroner bill

Anna and Michael Ancher were featured on the front of the previous series DKK1000 bill. The first version of the bill came into circulation on 18 September 1998, and was then updated on 25 November 2004, adding more security features. The front of the banknote featured a double portrait of Anna and Michael Ancher, derived from two 1884 paintings by Peder Severin Krøyer[4][5] which originally hung on the walls in the dining room at Brøndums Hotel.


See also


  1. ^ a b "Michael Ancher". Kunstindeks Danmark & Weilbachs Kunstnerleksikon (in Danish). Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Michael Ancher (1849–1927)". Skagens Museum. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  3. ^ (Skagens Museum)Michael Ancher
  4. ^ The coins and banknotes of Denmark (PDF). Danmarks Nationalbank. 2005. pp. 22–23.  
  5. ^ "1,000-krone banknote, 1997 series". Danmarks Nationalbank. 


  • Svanholm, Lise (2001). Malerne på Skagen. Gyldendal A/S.  

External links

  • Brøndums Hotel (Danish)
  • Skagen Paintings
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.