Tag Archives: Sunlight in the Blue Room by Anna Ancher

#FineArtFriday: Sunshine in the Blue Room. Helga Ancher Knitting in Grandmother’s Parlour by Anna Ancher 1891

Anna_Ancher_-_Sunlight_in_the_blue_room_-_Google_Art_ProjectArtist: Anna Ancher:

Title: Sunshine in the Blue Room. Helga Ancher Knitting in Grandmother’s Parlour

Alternate TitleSunlight in the Blue Room

Date: 1891

Medium: oil on canvas

Dimensions: w58.8 x h65.2 cm (Without frame)

Collection: Skagens Museum

Inscriptions: A. Ancher 1891

What I love about this painting:

It is a painting that must be viewed from a distance, as only then does it come into focus. I love the way the light falls on the wall, the shadow of a plant silhouetted there. Helga’s golden hair stands out in contrast to the blue of the walls and matching blue of her dress. Who is the woman in the image on the wall? Is it a picture of grandmother?

This is definitely a blue room, a shade of blue with a kind of depth and boldness to it. It must have been a colorful home.

I love all of Anna Ancher’s work. She painted the humanity in the small everyday things, such a daughter sitting near a window, crocheting. She melded art with homemaking, proving that even in an era of oppression women could be artists to be reckoned with.

About this painting, via Wikipedia:

As indicated by its full title: Sunshine in the Blue Room. Helga Ancher Knitting in Grandmother’s Parlour (Solskin i den blå stue. Helga Ancher ved strikketøjet i bedstemoders stue), the painting depicts Anna’s daughter Helga knitting in her grandmother’s room. With her back to the observer, the child is busy crocheting. Despite its everyday subject, the painting is one of Anna Ancher’s most captivating masterpieces with its many shades of blue and the sense of tranquility it conveys. Devoid of action, the theme is essentially the play of light in the room. The only indication of the outside world is the light streaming through the window. Mette Bøgh Jensen, curator of Skagens Museum, explains that Anna Ancher’s interior paintings are “more about the colour and light than anything else”. The artist’s main interest is “not in replicating the reality of the room or wall, or even the light, but rather what is left when these things are stripped away and all that remains are colour and form”. Bøgh Jensen continues, “Anna Ancher’s art is unlike that of anyone else. In its essence it is tied to the special world of motifs in Skagen: the fishermen’s families, the harvesters, the heathers, the special colours, and the brilliant summer light.”

In her Concise Dictionary of Women Artists, Delia Gaze assesses Anna Ancher’s achievements as remarkable “in the modernity of her idiom, with its reduced, abstracting forms and bold expressive colours, singling her out as one of the most innovative painters of her generation, exceeding most of her male colleagues, including her husband” [1]

About the artist, via Wikipedia:

Anna Ancher (18 August 1859 – 15 April 1935) was a Danish artist associated with the Skagen Painters, an artist colony on the northern point of Jylland, Denmark. She is considered to be one of Denmark’s greatest visual artists.

Anna Kirstine Brøndum was born in Skagen, Denmark, the daughter of Ane Hedvig Møller (1826–1916) and Erik Andersen Brøndum (1820–1890). She was the only one of the Skagen Painters who was 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 became acquainted with pictorial art via the many artists who settled to paint in Skagen, in the north of Jylland.

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 colors 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 child, daughter Helga Ancher. Despite pressure from society that married women should devote themselves to household duties, she continued painting after marriage. [2]


Credits and Attributions:

Image: Sunlight in the Blue Room by Anna Ancher, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

[1] Wikipedia contributors, “Sunlight in the Blue Room,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sunlight_in_the_Blue_Room&oldid=1047381792 (accessed January 6, 2022).

[2] Wikipedia contributors, “Anna Ancher,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Anna_Ancher&oldid=1041257716 (accessed January 6, 2022).

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