Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 45

ANNA ANCHER
  ‒    
 .
Young Girl Reading a Letter,

(Ung pige, der læser et brev)
Oil on canvas,

x

in. (

x

cm)
Signed and dated lower left: A Ancher

       :
Attorney Victor Fischer, Ovenlyssalen, Bredgade

, Copenhagen, Auction
.
.

, lot

, ill. p.
(unpaginated);
Winkel & Magnussen, Auction

(Hugo Lützau’s estate)

, lot

, ill. p.
(described as:
Ung pige læser et brev
); Bruun Ras-
mussen, Auction

,

, lot

, ill. p.

.
         :
Charlottenborg,

, no.
;
Scandinavia House, New York,
Danish Paintings from the Golden Age to the Modern Break-
through, Selections from the Collection of Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr.
,

, no.
.
         :
Inge Mejer Antonsen (ed.),
Michael and Anna Ancher’s House, A Short Guide to the Collections
, The Helga Ancher
Foundation, Skagen

(on the motif ).
A
nna Ancher rarely painted outside Skagen Østerby where she was born and brought up, and where
she lived throughout her life. She preferred to paint individual
fi
gures indoors. Most often she chose
women from the
fi
shing population of Skagen as her models, but this painting is di
ff
erent in that it por-
trays a young girl of the bourgeoisie. She stands reading a letter in a well-lit interior, which gives the pic-
ture a narrative content, something rarely seen in Anna Ancher’s work. When reproduced at that time by
Axel Vincents Kunstforlag, the painting was given an anecdotal title:
Letter from Home
.
The golden-haired model appears to be the artist’s own daughter Helga—who was nineteen years
old in

—and the interior is recognisable as the artist’s own home at Markvej
in Skagen. In

the
house was opened as a museum under the name of Michael and Anna Ancher’s House, one of the few
artists’ homes from this time preserved in its original state. When the Anchers bought their house and
moved into it in

, this room with its two south-facing windows was at the center of the small old
wing. The South Room, as it is called, was used as a living room and when there were guests, as a dining
room. In time, all the walls were covered with paintings and drawings of the artists’ family and their
friends.
The girl in the painting stands at the easternmost of the two windows, by the mahogany sewing
table, which is still in the same place today. So is the
fi
ne

th-century looking-glass which can just be dis-
cerned on the right in the painting, where a Louis XVI console table is almost hidden beneath the bright
green leaves. This was later removed to the West Room and replaced by a bookcase which now stands
between the windows.
Anna Ancher often painted here in the South Room, doubtless because of the good lighting. In this
picture, the powerful late morning sunlight falls especially on the letter, which gives support to the nar-
rative element, but it also falls on the light summer curtains and the geranium on the window ledge, one
of the artist’s favorite
fl
owers. At the same time, the girl’s face and the room are indirectly illumined by
the brilliant sunshine outside. The light green leaves and the light blue sky outside suggest early summer.
[
1...,35,36,1,38,39,40,41,42,43,44 46,47,48,49,50,51,52,53,54,55,...533
Powered by FlippingBook