Lot 212
  • 212

Michael Ancher

60,000 - 80,000 GBP
68,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Michael Ancher
  • Skuespillerfrokost (The Actors' Lunch, Skagen)
  • signed with initials and dated 02 lower right
  • oil on canvas
  • 48 by 63cm., 19 by 24¾in.


Georg Kleis, Copenhagen
Private Collection, Denmark (acquired in the 1940s; sale: Sotheby's, London, 13 June 2006, lot 133)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner

Catalogue Note

Ancher's Skuespillerfrokost is one of a handful of important contemporary 'conversation pieces' that celebrate the close-knit community of Skagen and the rich variety of artistic circles that were drawn to it.

Ancher first visited the village at Jutland's most northern tip in 1874. He lodged at Brøndums Inn in the heart of the village. There he met his future wife Anna, also a painter, and the daughter of the innkeeper. Married in 1880, the couple were generous hosts, and the dining table at Brøndums became the centre of Skagen's artistic community frequently crowded with artists.

One such fellow painter was Peder Severin Krøyer. The two artists had met in Vienna in 1882 and Krøyer first visited Skagen that same summer. His visit fuelled some resentment in Ancher, however, who came to see the successful and worldly painter as a competitor in what had hitherto been his and his wife Anna's territory. Yet despite this jealousy, Ancher and Krøyer enjoyed a warm friendship, influencing each other's work. In 1888 Krøyer produced his most celebrated and reproduced work, Hipp, Hipp, Hurra (fig. 1). Depicting his artist-friends and their families sipping champagne seated around a white-clothed table in a sun-dappled garden, the present composition owes a clear debt to Krøyer's earlier canvas.

A journalist recalled a similar scene to that depicted in Ancher’s Skuespillerfrokost when he attended a party to celebrate the artist’s birthday in 1925, ‘I can make out between the glitter of the sun and the golden branches that are like some pastel picture by Krøyer, the long tables clad with dazzling white cloths. The tables have been placed out on the grass quite simply… just as everything in this house breathes freedom. I know of no other place in the world where festive ceremony blends so naturally with party informality as at the Ancher house in Skagen. There is the same sunny atmosphere in the garden which we know from [...] Ancher’s garden and party pictures’ (Emil Bønnelykke in a letter to Politiken on 23 June 1925).