Midsummer Eve bonfire on Skagen’s beach
This picture was Krøyer’s last large figure painting. He gathers all the representatives of the artist colony, members of the town’s bourgeoisie, as well as some of the residents of Skagen, in a large circle around the Midsummer eve bonfire on Skagen Sønderstrand.
The painting is a tribute to the artist colony in Skagen, but it is the first time Krøyer depicts the local population together with the artists. There are still clear differences between the two groups, because the artists and the bourgeoisie are placed on the lighter, left side of the picture, while most of the residents are placed on the darker, right side.
The bonfire does not resemble a midsummer eve bonfire of today, because at that time they simply stacked several tar barrels on top of one another and set them alight.
Krøyer started the first sketch for the painting in 1892, but due to other commissions and illness, the picture was only completed 14 years later.