A Stroll on the Beach - Michael Ancher - 1896 - oil on canvas
The Skagen painters were a group of Scandinavian artists, active from the 1870s to 1930s, who gathered in the north of Denmark.
Michael Ancher is probably best known for his many paintings of Skagen’s fishermen and their battle with the harsh nature of Skagen, but he also depicted the more peaceful side of life in the town. In the middle of the 1890s, Michael Ancher was greatly inspired by fellow Skagen painter Peder Severin Krøyer’s works and his blue-tinted, atmospheric mood paintings from the seas surrounding Skagen. In the 1880s, the beaches in Scandinavia were workplaces more than anything else, but by the 1890s the beach had also become a promenade for the affluent middle classes, and this is precisely what is depicted here. Ancher opted for a diagonal composition in this depiction of five young women taking a stroll. Even though the light is cool, the sun is bright. A couple of fishing boats can be glimpsed in the background; the only trace of the local fishermen in evidence here.