The Historic
Artwork at Danes Hall 

Portrait of a Elderly Woman

Viggo Johansen (b. 1851 – d. 1935)

Even at a young age, Viggo Johansen had a talent for drawing.  Wilhelm Marstand, one of the most prominent painter during the Golden Age of Denmark, took him under his wing and encouraged his pursuit of art.  He attended the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and studied under famed Skagen Painter Michael Ancher.

 

Johansen became affiliated with the Skagen Painters in 1875.  Viggo Johansen’s paintings vary from portraits to landscapes to depictions of traditional Danish life. 

Some of Viggo Johansen’s other paintings include his depiction of Christmas., in Silent Night and A Christmas Story, paintings often seen on Danish Christmas cards.

His styles were also quite diverse from intricate scenes of family gatherings to impressionist portraits. Portrait of an Elderly Woman features an impressionist portrait of a contemplative woman. It is done is very loose wispy expressionist brush strokes, often just grazing the canvas. Yet, in this impressionistic style, Johansen captures the fine details of the woman’s aged face, her pensive stare, and a feeling of sadness.