J.F. Willumsen

Jens Ferdinand Willumsen

J.F Willumsen was not as such a part of the Skagen Colony. His affiliation with Skagen exists in his grand masterpiece Sun and Youth and the pre painting Bathing Children at Skagen Beach. 

Willumsen (1863-1958) first came to Skagen in 1906. As early as 1902 he began his first studies for the painting of the children bathing on the beach, but most of the drafts for the painting were made in Skagen during the summer of 1909. The painting is a preparatory study – or ‘dress rehearsal’, as Willumsen put it – for the painting Sun and youth from 1910 which is exhibited at the Göteborg Museum of Art.

Children bathing on Skagen’s beach was donated to Skagens Museum in 1934 by the New Carlsberg Foundation. In 1974, the then director of the Museum, Knud Voss, wanted to make an exhibition of the works by P.S. Krøyer in the hall where Willumsen’s painting was placed. Since it was impossible to place the painting anywhere else at the Museum, Voss considered where to place it instead. At one point it was discussed to temporarily deposit the painting at Skagen’s swimming baths or at Hedeboskolen, a nearby municipal school – but instead it was finally decided to build a papier mâché wall in front of the painting.

In 1981, the painting was moved to J.F. Willumsens Museum in Frederikssund, where it has remained ever since.