“Ung pige ved sit arbejde”. Interior with a young girl at her needlework. 1901. Signed A. Ancher. Oil on canvas. 57×50 cm.
The painting is not dated. The model in the picture is undoubtedly the artist's daughter Helga, born 1883. The same model with the same bottle green dress and a similar white collar is also seen in a painting in ARoS in Aarhus “Young girl arranges flowers”, which the museum acquired in 1905.
Elisabeth Fabritius, “Anna og Michael Ancher. Breve og fotografier”, 2018 vol 3:
In October 1901 Anna Ancher wrote from Skagen about daily life to her daughter Helga, who received drawing lessons in Copenhagen. After having had dinner with the Schwartz family, Anna went home early to write to her daughter: “Then I will also greet you many times from Engel, I was in to pick her up, she has sat for me today to your neck in the green dress, it goes well, .. .. ”. In her daughter's absence, Helga's good friend was a stand in for her in the present painting. (p. 299, letter no. 1482). Engel Katrine Lachmann née Saxild (1885–1966) and her twin sister Ella have often been portrayed by Anna and Michael Ancher.
The painter Oscar Björck describes Anna Ancher’s colours in the following way: "In her paintings there was something that none of the rest of us possessed to the same degree, a quiet devotion to the assignment which was so saturated and succulent that one enjoyed it like a ripe fruit.“ The same can be said about the use of colour in the present painting.
Provenance: The estate of Mrs court jeweler Knud Hertz, Bruun Rasmussen auction 325, 1975 no. 1, reproduced p. 7. Svend Aarkrogs collection. Bruun Rasmussen auction 812, 2010 no. 59, reproduced p.
We are very grateful to Elisabeth Fabritius, MA in History of Art, in cataloguing this painting.