Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 67

MICHAEL ANCHER
   ‒    
  .
The Old Garden House, summer

(Det gamle Havehus, sommer

)
Oil on canvas,
½
x
⅔
in. (

x

cm)
Signed with initials and dated lower right: MA

       :
Bruun Rasmussen, Auction

,

, lot

(described as:
Fra kunstnerens have på Skagen, sommer
).
                :
Alba Schwartz,
Skagen før og nu
, I-II, Copenhagen


; Sys Hartmann (ed.),
Huse i Skagen,
Vol.
, Kappelborg og Østerby
, Skagen Kommune og Fredningsstyrelsen, Copenhagen

; Elisabeth Fabritius,
Michael Anchers ung-
dom,


, Skagen

.
A
Skagen house amidst all the profusion of summer
fl
owers in brilliant sunshine was a motif that was
likely to engage Michael Ancher, especially in the latter part of his life. The lush
fl
owers are typical of
Skagen, for roses grow well in sandy soil. They are enhanced by the trees in the background, the height and
fullness of which are rare in Skagen. The love radiated by the picture becomes more understandable when
we know that the charming, skewed wing not only had a special signi
fi
cance for Michael Ancher himself,
but also played a role in the history of Skagen. This is where the artist lodged when he came to Skagen for
the
fi
rst time in

, because the building served as the Brøndum hostelry as well as the Brøndum family
home that summer. (The original hostelry had burned down, but was soon rebuilt.)
When Michael Ancher married Anna Brøndum in

, the section of the building to the left was
fi
tted
out for them, and during the
fi
rst years of their happy marriage they lived behind the windows seen in the
picture. In a painting of the sitting room from

, called
Dagens arbejde bedømmes (Judging the Day’s Work),
in Statens Museum for Kunst, they have portrayed each other discussing a painting on the easel. And it was
in one of the doors in this house that Michael Ancher also painted a full-length portrait of Anna while she
was expecting Helga. Shortly afterward their daughter was born here, and the entire colony of Scandina-
vian artists came to o
ff
er their congratulations.
In

, the Anchers bought another old house situated only a few minutes’ walk away at Markvej
,
now the museum called The Michael and Anna Ancher House. The “old garden house” became once again
a kind of annex to the Brøndum hotel. The garden house, the hotel and all its equipment were left to Ska-
gens Museum in

as a bequest from Anna Ancher’s brother, Degn Brøndum, who then owned the hotel.
This painting shows the south face of the old garden house, which like the gabled ends, is built of brick.
The whitewashed cornice with its concave moulding is no longer visible. The north side of the building, on
the other hand, is covered by boards painted red. In

and later, the house was restored by the architect
Viggo Steen Møller (


) to house the changing exhibitions of modern art in the Skagens Museum,
such as one held by Michael and Anna’s only daughter, Helga Ancher, in

. The house is still used today
for exhibitions.
E.F.
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