Michael Ancher’s drawings of Ane Brøndum

A unique relation is documented in the museum’s collection of the artist Michael Ancher’s drawings of his mother-in-law, Ane Brøndum.

24.03.2018 – 23.09.2018 | Skagens Museum

The Bornholm-born Michael Ancher married Anna Brøndum from Skagen and hereby joined a family in which the matriarch was Anna’s mother, Ane. Besides her work at the family’s hotel, Ane Brøndum was an ardent letter writer. Her letters show that she accepted Michael as her only son-in-law, and rapidly developed a close relationship with him.

There are no letters from Michael to Ane, but he painted and drew countless works of his mother-in-law. The museum’s collection contains over 160 drawings created over a period of over 35 years in which Michael has depicted Ane. The earliest drawings date from the end of the 1870s and the last is from April 1916, when Ane Brøndum lay on her deathbed at the age of 90.

Characteristic for most of Michael Ancher’s portraits of Ane are that she appears withdrawn and thoughtful and she does not return the viewer’s gaze. In the early depictions she is usually portrayed working, later she either sits with folded or gathered hands, sitting in a rocking chair with a white pillow at her back while reading or writing.