Thursday, September 25, 2014

Peder Kroyer

Hip Hip Hurray
oil on canvas
134.5 x 165.5 cm
Gothenburg Museum of Art, Sweden

Peder Severin Kroyer (1851-1909),  born in Stavanger, Norway, later moved to Copenhagen, known as P. S. Kroyer, was a Danish painter. He was one of the best known and beloved, and undeniably the most colorful of the Skagen Painters, a community of Danish and Nordic artists who lived, gathered or worked in Skagen, Denmark, especially during the final decades of the 19th century. He was the unofficial leader of the group.

He began his art education at nine years of age under private tutelage, and in 1870 at the age of 19, he completed his studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Art. In 1873 he was awarded the gold medal and a scholarship.

Between 1877-1881, he travelled extensively in Europe, meeting artists, studying art, and developing his skills and outlook. He stayed in Paris and came under the influence of contemporary impressionists - Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Edouard Manet.

In 1882 returning to Denmark he spent summer season at Skagen, then a remote fishing village at the northern tip of Denmark, painting themes from the local life, as well as depictions of the other artistic and influential people who lived in and visited Skagen during those times.

He continued travelling extensively throughout his life, constantly drawing inspiration from foreign artists and cultures. His eyesight failed him gradually over the last ten years of his life until he was totally blind. He painted almost to the end of his life in spite of all these health obstacles. He painted some of his last masterpieces while half blind. He died at 58 years of age after several years of declining health from advanced syphilis.