Cultured Wednesday: Albert Anker

With Albrecht Samuel Anker, portrait painter of the 19th century, I don’t even know where to start when it comes to picking paintings as examples of his art.  Just about each and every one of them is so wonderful!  Here’s the one that caught my attention first and led me to look for other paintings of Mr. Anker:

girls peeting taters
Girl Peeling Potatoes

Albrecht Anker was born on April 1, 1831 in Ins, in the canton of Bern, in north-western Switzerland.  He was a Swiss painter and illustrator and has earned for himself the title “national painter of Switzerland” because of his depictions of 19th-century Swiss village life that are as well-loved today as they were back in his time.  When he was 14, he went to the nearby town of Neuchâtel to school for three years, and it is there that his first name changed from Albrecht to Albert as the latter was much easier to pronounce for his French-speaking classmates.

Albert-Anker- girls with kittens in basket 1862
Girl with Kittens in a Basket, 1862

After finishing his schooling and studying theology for a while in Halle, Germany, the great art galleries there inspired Albert Anker to become an artist, and thus, having convinced his parents to agree to his new career plans, he moved to Paris, France.  He was quite famous during his lifetime already, but only after his death on July 16, 1910 there were exhibitions dedicated only to him.

Girls Braiding Hair, 1887

Albert married Anna Rüfli in 1864, and they had six children together.  Four of his children, the ones who did not die at an early age, appear in some of his paintings: Louise, Marie, Maurice and Cécile.

Which leads me to why we like his paintings so much:  He painted the most wonderful portraits of children as well as older people.  So just sit back and enjoy some more glimpses into the life of 19th century people in rural Switzerland.

Rosa and Bertha Gugger
boy reading
Reading Out Loud
Albert Anker 1831-1910 5
Portrait of a Girl
Warming Old Hands
Schoolboy, 1875
Fortune Teller, 1880
girls knitting
Girl Knitting

And lastly:

Brustbild eines Mädchens in schwarzer Kapuze
Girl with Black Hood

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