Blog post

Summer sketched: the Skagen Painters in Denmark

A group of Scandinavian artists gathered in Skagen in the 19th century

Europeana Foundation

When summer comes, we often leave cities and head to the countryside and the seaside with friends.

Nowadays we maybe go to Ibiza or Provence, but for a group of artists and their families in 19th century Denmark, they headed for Skagen, a fishing village in the north of Denmark.

The Skagen Painters were a group of Scandinavian artists who gathered there from around the 1870s to the end of the 19th century.

They holidayed in Skagen, inspired by the village's scenery, landscape and fishing community - all of which were captured by their many paintings.

Though rooted in the specifics of Skagen, their artworks also capture many universal summer activities - taking long walks on the beach, swimming in the sea, soaking up the sun, enjoying picnic, walking in the woods - all the things that make for enjoyable summer days.

painting showing two children sitting in a field

Two Girls in a Field, A Summer’s Day, Michael Ancher, Statens Museum for Kunst

Particularly the artworks of painter P.S. Krøyer capture this. They feature the white sandy beaches and beautiful blue skies of Skagen, where at its peak in June and July, the sun rises around 4 a.m. and sets around 10 p.m.

These artists' depictions of Skagen are summer memories made in paint. We hope you enjoyed this short selection of Skagen paintings - you can learn much more about the Skagen Painters on Wikipedia.