Background: Michael Peter Ancher was born at Rutsker on the island of Bornholm, Denmark on 9 June 1849.
Education:He studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Art (Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi) in Copenhagen (1871-5), where his teachers Wilhelm Marstrand and Frederik Vermehen encouraged his interest in genre painting.
Achievements: He got his artistic breakthrough in 1879 with the painting Vil han klare pynten (Will he Round the Point?). Michael Ancher’s works are true-to-life depictions of reality and at the same time monumental figure compositions. Michael Ancher’s life’s work is founded on the heroic series The Lifeboat is Carried Through The Dunes (1883), The Crew Are Saved (1894) and The Drowned Man (1896).
Michael Ancher was influenced by his traditional training at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in the 1870s which imposed strict rules for composition, and he found it difficult to adjust to Scandinavian painting’s modern breakthrough, the “Skagen School”. His marriage to Anna Ancher did, however, introduce him to the naturalistic concept of undecorated reproduction of reality and its colours. By combining the pictorial composition of his youth with the teachings of naturalism, Michael Ancher created what has been called modern monumental figurative art such as A Baptism.
The works of Anna and Michael Ancher can be seen at the Skagen Museum, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts,the Frederiksborg Museum, The Hirschsprung Collection and Ribe Art Museum. Michael Ancher received the Eckersberg Medal in 1889 and in 1894 the Order of the Dannebrog. Originally their paintings hung in the dining room of the Brøndums Hotel. The painter P.S. Kroyer conceived the idea of placing paintings by different artists in the wall panels. In 1946 the dining hall was donated to the Skagen Museum.