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The Lifeboat is Taken through the Dunes

Michael Ancher1883

SMK - Statens Museum for Kunst

SMK - Statens Museum for Kunst

The low, dark winter skies and densely filled picture plane deepens the sense of intense concentration, of heroic grandeur.

The painting's composition

The waves on the bluish-black ocean seem to force their way up into the snow-covered dunes which echo the tumbling waves by lifting up the lifeboat, prefiguring the launch of the boat and how it will break through the heavy surf. Two intersecting diagonals lead the fishermen through the dunes and out towards the vessels in distress. This movement eventually takes the spectator’s gaze back to the starting point: the shouting fisherman, cropped as in a photographic snapshot, making an appeal to someone outside the picture.

A tale of the heroic fishermen

With this painting Michael Ancher continued his tale of the heroic fishermen of Skagen. An epic on a grand scale, the narrative opened with the question Will He Weather the Point, went on to a happy preliminary end, as it were, with A Crew is Rescued and was finally concluded in The Drowned Fisherman.

A contemporary history painting

Previously, history painting was a vehicle for the depiction of great and good deeds done by mythological heroes and men who made history. Common people only made an appearance as rank and file soldiers or in anonymous crowds. The works of Michael Ancher, however, represent the culmination of counteracting endeavours to place ordinary men as the main characters of contemporary history painting.

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Details

  • Title: The Lifeboat is Taken through the Dunes
  • Creator: Michael Ancher
  • Date Created: 1883
  • Værktekst: Den lave mørke vinterhimmel og kompakte udfyldning af billedfladen forstærker fornemmelsen af intens koncentration - af heroisk storhed. Maleriets komposition Bølgerne på det blåsorte hav synes at trænge helt op i de sneklædte klitter. De væltende bølger løfter redningsbåden i vejret og foregriber udsætningen af båden og gennembrydningen af den kraftige brænding. To krydsende diagonaler fører fiskerne og beskueren gennem klitterne og ud mod det nødstedte skib. Bevægelsen fører blikket tilbage til udgangspunktet, den råbende fisker, der som i et fotografisk snapshot er beskåret og appellerer til nogen uden for billedet. Beretningen om Skagens heltemodige fiskere Med dette maleri fortsatte Michael Ancher sin beretning om Skagens heltemodige fiskere. Et stort anlagt epos, som blev indledt med spørgsmålet Vil han klare pynten? og via den lykkelige udgang Mandskabet reddet fik sin definitive afslutning med Den druknede. Et samtidigt historiemaleri Historiemaleriet var tidligere hjemsted for skildringen af store og gode handlinger med mytologiske helte og historieskabende enere som forbilleder. Folket måtte nøjes med at optræde som menige soldater eller anonym folkemasse. Med Michael Ancher kulminerer en modsatrettet bestræbelse på at indsætte det almindelige menneske som hovedaktør i et samtidigt historiemaleri.
  • Teknik: Olie på lærred
  • Proveniens: Køb 1883
  • Provenance: Acquired 1883
  • Physical Dimensions: w221 x h171 cm (Without frame)
  • Featured Place: Skagen
  • Dansk link: http://www.smk.dk/index.php?id=1202
  • Dansk Titel: Redningsbåden køres gennem klitterne
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Statens Museum for Kunst, http://www.smk.dk/en/copyright/creative-commons/
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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