Michael Ancher (1849-1927)
Michael Ancher came to Skagen in 1874 at the age of 25, and he was the only one of the visiting artists who settled permanently in the town. He grew up on the island of Bornholm, and at the age of 16, he began his apprenticeship as a clerk at the Kalø Manor in Djursland. Here, he began to draw and paint in his spare time, and in 1871 he was accepted as a student at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Here, he met Karl Madsen, among others, who encouraged him to go to Skagen. In 1877, he was engaged to Anna Brøndum, and they married in 1880, and during their first years of marriage, the couple lived in the Garden House. After the birth of their daughter Helga in 1883, the family moved to Markvej in Skagen. Michael Ancher is known for his portrayals of Skagen's heroic fishermen and for his dramatic paintings of the fishermen's work at sea. In his large figure paintings he combines the classic compositional principles of historic paintings with a fascinating realism. In the early 20th century, Michael Ancher took an active part in the founding of Skagens Museum, but he died in 1927, the year before its official opening.