Anna Ancher (1859-1935) Danish Impressionist Artist
Anna Ancher occupies a special place in Danish art. She was the only accomplished woman painter and native Skagener in the influential colony of artists that flourished in Skagen, Denmark's peninsula, during the 1880s and early 1890s. As a summer desination, Skagen attracted artists from all over Scandinavia who came to practise the radical new French figure and plein-air painting in the brilliant northern light and to exchange ideas from their foreign travels. The core of the colony was formed by Anna, her husband Michael Ancher and P.S.Kroyer.
Ancher was at the centre of this mythology, the pivot around which the drama of the artists' lives was wound, who amanged to find time to paint in between her duties as wife, hostess, mother and daughter. Anna observed from nature and absorbed from her male colleagues Anna what she needed in order to find her own expressive voice. Her artistic independence was remarkable., and all the more remarkable is 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.
Her achievements and contribution to the modern breakthrough in Danish art were recognised during her lifetime. In Paris she was awarded medals for her entries in the Expositions Universelles of 1889 and 1900, when she was one of only two danish painters to be mentioned favourably by the french critics. she won medals at other international exhibitions and in Denmark. She was awarded membership of the Academy Plemun Assembly and in 1913 she received the Ingenio et Arti medal from the Danish king.