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Picturing a World

Anna Ancher’s summer

Today in the Berkshires is a day of hot sun, clear blue sky, and green meadows, lawns, trees, and plants. It’s summer. Anna Ancher’s Harvesters, on display at the Clark’s Women Artists in Paris, 1850–1900 perfectly captures the feel of such a day even if it is not yet harvest time here. With its even horizontal split between golden wheat and cloud-touched blue sky, its composition impresses the dominance of nature on the viewer. The harvesters may be the subject of the painting, but they are distanced from us by the grain. And yet, and yet—I want to know their story.

From what I’ve seen of Ancher’s work, she did few landscapes, but there is at least one precursor for this Harvesters, a Harvest Time of 1901, similar in composition with the three figures marching in the opposite direction. For a collection of her paintings, click here.

For more about the artist, click here.

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