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Danish Modernism: The Skagen Painters Dr Caroline Levisse Monday 09 March 2020

Located at the northernmost point of the Jutland peninsula in Denmark, Skagen is an attractive spot in the summer for its unusual light. From the 1870s to the beginning of the twentieth century this fishermen village was home to an artists’ colony. Some of its more famous members include Anna and Michael Ancher, Marie and Peder Severin Krøyer, as well as Laurits Tuxen. Reacting against styles enforced by the Academies and influenced instead by French modernism, they painted en plein airand represented scenes from ordinary life. Fishermen at work, social gathering and domestic scenes are common in their works. They are especially renowned for their depictions of the particular light of long summer evenings. In such sceneries their works often become more romantic and lyrical.  

Illustration: P.S. Krøyer, Summer Evening on Skagen’s Southern Beach, 1893, oil on canvas, 100 x 150 cm, Skagen Museum


Caroline Levisse holds a PhD in Art History from Paris University. Since 2014 she has been teaching for the WEA and other organisations. She mainly lectures on Western art from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Since researching Scandinavian art for her doctoral dissertation and living in Denmark, she has been enthusiastic about Nordic artists, and now offers a series of talks related to this subject matter.