Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 49

ANNA ANCHER
  ‒    
 .
A Street in Bornholm with a Mother Walking with Her Children,
c.

(En gade på Bornholm med en mor, der går med sine børn)
Oil on canvas,

x

in. (

x

cm)
Signed lower right: A. Ancher
       :
Kunsthallen, Auction

,

, lot
(described as:
Moder med to børn
).
         :
Harvard University Art Museums,
Danish Paintings of the Nineteenth Century from the Collection of Ambassador John
Loeb, Jr.,

, no.
.
         :
Peter Nisbet,
Danish Paintings of the Nineteenth Century from the Collection of Ambassador John Loeb, Jr.,
Busch-
Reisinger Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts,

, ill., p.

.
A
nna Ancher often accompanied her husband Michael when he visited his native island of Bornholm,
Denmark’s most easterly point, out in the Baltic Sea just south of Sweden. In contrast to the rest of
Denmark, Bornholm consists of red granite, which produces variations in terrain and thus also in the
streets of the small towns, where great di
ff
erences in level are encountered. This particular picture is
thought to be of Grønnegade in Rønne, looking towards Toldbodgade.
The dramatic appearance of the rocky landscape attracted other Danish artists as well. In the West
Room in the Anchers’ house, now a museum in Skagen, there are two small paintings of the Bornholm
coast painted by Vilhelm Kyhn in

. And the marine artist Holger Drachmann (


) took count-
less motifs from Bornholm for a period of ten years starting in

. Laurits Tuxen visited the island in

,
and Peder Mønsted often painted there.
Like Skagen, Bornholm enjoys a particularly strong light, which at the beginning of the

th century
attracted some of the best Nordic Modernists. The paintings of Karl Isakson (


) and Edvard Weie
(


), executed in Bornholm and Christansø, broke new ground in Danish art.
For Anna Ancher, colour was the most important element, and this picture is about the various shades
of red in the walls and roofs of the houses, contrasted with the cool blue, grey and green shades of the
street, repeated in the woman’s dress. The choice of the street seen in linear perspective is strikingly sug-
gestive of the series of paintings Anna Ancher executed late in life from Østerbyvej in Skagen, where she
painted several versions either of the road alone or with little girls walking and playing. Here, too, it was
the combination of the pink, bluish and golden colours that fascinated her.
This painting appears never to have been exhibited, other than at the Busch-Reisinger exhibit in

. So
far, no other paintings by Anna Ancher can be identi
fi
ed as having been painted in Bornholm.
E.F.
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