“To unge piger, der tale med Beskueren”. Two young girls talking to the viewer. Signed and dated Michael Ancher 1879. Oil on canvas. 95×95 cm.
Exhibited: Charlottenborg 1879 no. 9.
Provenance: Given as a gift by Michael Ancher to his friend the painter Johannes Boesen and his wife Kunigunde Mathea Thalia Zoega at their wedding on October 10, 1883. Thence by descent.
Elisabeth Fabritius, “Anna og Michael Ancher. Breve og fotografier”, 2018 vol. 1:
On 22 March 1879 Michael travelled to Copenhagen with the 3 paintings intended for an exhibition at Kunstforeningen (The Art Association). The paintings included: “Fiskepiger, der en Sommeraften ere samlede på Sladrebakken. Motiv fra Skagen” (Fishing girls gathered on “Tattletale Hill” one summer evening. Motif from Skagen); “Drengene holde Maaltid; Maden er endnu lidt for varm. Motiv fra Skagen” (The boys are having a meal; the food is still a little too hot. Motif from Skagen) and the present painting “To unge Piger” (Two young girls). (pp. 266 and 268 and letters 175 and 176) .
Ancher did not travel alone, Anna's brother John Brøndum joined him on the trip. They travelled 20 km along the beach from Skagen to Frederikshavn by open mail coach and then by steamship to Copenhagen.
On 24–25 March 1879 Michael wrote again to his “Kjæreste sødeste Bomseknop” (beloved girlfriend) and mentioned that the three paintings were now being picked up“... I think the boys have a good chance of being sold. The large girls are coming along as well, although I am a little worried about them ... ”. (p. 271, letter no. 177) .
On 29 March 1879 Michael Ancher visited the exhibition again, and he writes to his “Kjæreste Bedste Knup” (beloved girlfriend): “The boys are not placed very well, the two girls much better, there is something in them that makes them belong among the very best of the whole exhibition, they have caused great joy among both regular visitors and painters”. (p. 276, letter no. 181).
Unfortunately, the girls didn't sell on that occasion.