ancher house dining room

This post started out being a “Historic Painting” article, and by some miraculous process it’s turned out to be the very first article in an entirely new category! I’m going to call it Interiors, and it’s going to have fascinating pictures like this one: the dining room of a Scandinavian house from the late 19th century, this one the residence and workplace of Danish painters Michael and Anna Ancher. This house, still standing (the photo was taken in 2013), is located in Skagen, Denmark, which is in the Jutland area. This photo is very interesting because it shows what a well-to-do house was like at the turn of the 20th century in Scandinavia, incorporating both traditional 19th century elements–such as the hardwood floor, the traditional decorative plate over the door, and the tablecloth–with more modern motifs. The Anchers were indeed on the cutting edge of artistic modernism as it was practiced in the European art world of the 1890s, which is roughly the time this room is supposed to look like. The Anchers purchased this house in 1884.

Michael Ancher became famous in Denmark for his paintings mainly of fishermen and fishing scenes. His style, like this room, melded modern elements as well as classical ones. He and his wife Anna, who was known as a portraitist, also created some of the furniture in this room. The walls show paintings by them and by other artists of Skagen, which was an artists’ colony at the time. Michael died in 1927, Anna in 1935. The house is now a museum.

I can’t say how often I’m going to find cool photos of historic interiors to add to this series, but you might expect one now and again. Interiors can tell us a lot about how people lived in specific times, and when they’re preserved, as this one is, they can be really interesting.

The photo of the Ancher dining room is by Wikimedia Commons user JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD and is used under Creative Commons 3.0 (Attribution) license.