Spring came to Ordrupgaard with the exhibition of exquisite water colour paintings by Danish artist, Anna Syberg (1870-1914). Anna Syberg has often been described as simply a “flower painter”, but behind this slightly derogative term is an artist who profoundly renewed the genre. Through her advanced technique and unique colouristic sense, Anna Syberg brought her flower paintings up to par with the modern ambitions in the art of her day.
Anna Syberg understood as few others how to give life to flowers and still lifes on water colour paper and plan her compositions so they would fill the entire picture surface. She often painted more humble plants and managed to capture the distinctive character of each plant. Great talent, late recognition.
Despite her talent, Anna Syberg found it difficult to be recognised for her work, the main reason being the lack of accept of female artists on the same footing as male artists at the time. Hence, she was not recognised until two years after her early death in 1914 when Kunstforeningen organised a retrospective exhibition of her work, which was a great success.
Female Artists at Ordrupgaard
Anna Syberg. A Feel for Flowers is part of Ordrupgaard’s series of female artists from the time of modernism. It is thus an extension of highly praised exhibitions on Finnish Helene Schjerfbeck, the French Impressionist Berthe Morisot and French-American Impressionist Mary Cassatt.
Ordrupgaard and the Funen Artists
Anna Syberg formed part of the group of painters from Funen, known collectively as “Fynboerne”. A group of painters who made their mark on the Danish art scene and was at the core of the clash with the established art scene; a clash known as “the Fight of the Peasant Painters”. In 2011 Ordrupgaard held an exhibition, The Dispute on Art, on this exact subject.
Ordrupgaard is particularly fond of the Funen painters as the founder of the museum, Wilhelm Hansen, was friends with Anna Syberg’s brother Peter Hansen and purchased several of the group’s works, which can be seen in the museum’s permanent collection today.
Anna Syberg. A Feel for Flowers was curated for Ordrupgaard by Museum director Susanne Thestrup Truelsen from Faaborg Museum, assisted by project employee Sara Hatla Krogsgaard. The artworks in the exhibition are on loan primarily from Faaborg Museum, supplemented with works from private collections.
Anna Syberg. A Feel for Flowers is supported by Oticon Fonden, Den Faberske Fond and Tapet Café.