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Albert Anker - Schreibendes Mädchen nach rechts, 1906


Albert Anker - Schreibendes Mädchen nach rechts, 1906
Water colour on paper
24.5 x 24.5 cm

Albert Anker counts to the most popular Swiss genre painters of the 19th century. The subjects of his works are often children's games, schooling, reading and learning, as well as domestic activities such as knitting and weaving. The interest in people has always been at the centre of his art. Among his favourite models were his own children.

This was possibly also the case in this work "Scheibendes Mädchen nach rechts" from 1906. With seemingly masterful ease, Albert Anker was able to bring the finest nuances of colour onto the paper and capture the calm, concentrated mood of the scene. The girl has her eyes firmly fixed on her exercise book, in which she carefully and meticulously writes lines. Her golden shimmering hair is plaited into a neat braid and there are no stains on the girl's clothes. Everything in this picture reflects order, concentration and purity. One almost forgets that the painting was created by the blotchy application of paint and that the ductus in itself represents a certain contradiction to the orderly mood in the picture.
Through the dark background Anker creates a light situation that resembles a stage. The child is brought into the spotlight by the subtle illumination and the activity of writing is thus given even more significance.

About artist
Albert Anker
Ins, 1831 — 1910

In 1836, at the age of five, Albert Anker (1831, Bern – 1910, Bern) received his first drawing lessons from Frédéric-Wilhelm Moritz and Louis Wallinger. In 1851, Anker made his first trip to Paris, where he created replicas of Old Masters in the Louvre. He then began to study theology, which he abandoned in 1853 to become a painter. In Paris, he studied at the Ecole Impériale et Spéciale des Beaux-Arts from 1855 to 1860. From 1859 to 1885, his paintings were regularly on display at the prestigious Paris Salon. From 1870 to 1874, Anker was a member of the Grand Council of the Canton of Bern, where he campaigned for the construction of the Bern Art Museum, which opened in 1873. In 1890 he gave up his residence in Paris and moved to his former parental home in Ins. In 1990 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bern.
Albert Anker is one of the most popular Swiss genre-painters of the 19th century. The popularity of Anker's work, which remains undiminished to this day, is based on a general and broader understanding, which is why the artist is often referred to as the "national painter". His main subjects include children at play, school attendance, activities such as reading and learning, and domestic pursuits following traditional gender roles such as knitting and weaving. His interest in people was always at the forefront. Among his favourite models were his own children.