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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Kunstmuseum Bern: Albert Anker Beautiful World. On the Centenary of His Death.



On the Centenary of Albert Anker's death, the Kustmuseum Bern (Museum of Fine Arts, Bern) exhibits a retrospective of the artist's works through September 19th, 2010.
Born on April 1, 1831 in Ins, Switzerland as the second of three children to the veterinarian Samuel Anker and Marianne Elisabeth Gatschet, Albert Anker studied in Neuchâtel and among other studies, he took private lessons in drawing with Louis Wallinger.
Having stayed in Paris during part of his life, he attended the Ecole Impériale et Spéciale des Beaux-Arts and participated in the Salon (also know as Salon de Paris) where he was awarded a gold medal in 1866.
Albert was a member of the greater council of the Canton of Bern and supported the construction of the Kunstmuseum Bern.
In 1878 he was appointed Knight of the Legion of Honor and Doctor honoris causa of Bern University in 1900.
Giving up all painting almost completey due to a stroke suffered in 1901, that left his right hand partially handycaped, he passed away on July 16, 2010 in Ins.
Albert Anker was married with Anna Ruefli (1835-1917) from Biel, with whom he had six children.
After the success of the exhibitions organized between 2007 and 2008 by the Kunstmuseum Bern for four Japanese museums, this exhibition brings to the public a retrospective about the artist's favourite themes and subjects, and the mediums that he worked on, namely drawings, paintings, faiences and watercolours.
Albert started his artistic career as a portrait painter and took on commissions during his lifelong.
This facet is visible on the more than 500 faiences that he painted for the Deck Brother's company between 1866 and 1892, where he often included portraits or three-quarter-view-figures, as well as children reading or playing.
Illustrated on plates and wall panels, these commissioned works for a select Parisian clientele were based on preliminary watercolour studies.
Being a participant member of his community, his paintings depict the daily life of its inhabitants, with particular focus on playing children and their educational development.
The artist also painted around 35 still lifes, although more for his own pleasure than for the public, considering that his complete oeuvre comprises over 700 oil paintings.
Presented by the Kunstmuseum Bern, the "Albert Anker: Beautiful World. On the Centenary of His Death" exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to know more about the artist and enjoy some great works of art.
Painting above: "Mädchen die Haareflechtend", 1887, oil on linen (70,5 x 54 cm)
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