Peder Severin Krøyer was one of the foremost painters of the Skagen artists’ colony. His innovative naturalism characterised by an atmospheric rendering of light and previously often overlooked everyday subjects contributed significantly to the development of Skagen School painting and its recognition throughout Europe.
In the summer of 1883, a year after he first came to the idyllic town on the northern tip of Jutland, Krøyer created a series of compositional sketches for his famous painting Fishermen on the Beach of Skagen. Mild Summer Evening. In the version presented here the subject of the group of fishermen resting on the south beach of Skagen takes a backseat to the depiction of a vast, panoramic view of the coast. The mild, calm evening atmosphere is reflected in the uniform, diffuse light of the blue hour. The figure of the standing fisherman and his gaze at the open sea correspond with the shape of the lighthouse in the background whose cone of light is showing in the mirror of the sea. Yet the expected confrontation with another object which the fisherman may be looking for fails to materialise. Thus, the picture becomes a romantic portrayal of an empty horizon.