Oil on Canvas: 12 x 14
Johansen, Viggo (1851-1935)
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Viggo Johansen was born in Copenhagen on January 3 1851 to parents Frederik Christoph Johansen and Camilla Olivia Petrine Jepsen.
Johansen grew up in a villa on Gl. Kongevej in Copenhagen. As a 17-year-old he began attending the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, where he was recognized as being very talented. He qualified therefore as a figure artist, an education that at that time was regarded as the finest. However, he never succeeded in achieving his degree – a fate he shared with many other famous artists, like Michael Ancher, among others.
Johansen belongs to the group of Skagen artists, but in posterity has undeservedly come to stand a little in the shadow of the more famous artists. He came to Skagen in the summer of 1875 at the request of Michael Ancher (they knew each other from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts). For Johansen personally, this visit proved decisive: in Brøndum’s inn he met the sisters Henriette and Martha Møller, Anna Brøndum’s cousins. Martha and Johansen became engaged that same summer and were married in 1880. In the 1880s Johansen spent the summers in Skagen with Martha and a rapidly growing family. The family rented rooms at Madam Bendsen’s house, and during these years Johansen painted a number of fine landscapes from around Skagen. The family was also one of his favorite subjects. He painted the children and Martha in many different everyday situations - intimate, subdued and evocative descriptions. In the years around the turn of the century, the Johansen family did not come to Skagen because of disagreements between them and P.S. Krøyer and his wife Marie.
Teaching demanded a great deal of Johansen's time during the course of his career. At the beginning of the 1880s he taught at the Independent Study Schools, in 1888 he became a teacher at the new School for Women at the Royal Academy, and from 1906 until 1920 he was a professor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
Johansen was a pupil of the Academy of Copenhagen and won many notable awards during his lifetime, including medals at exhibitions in Munich in 1889 and in Berlin in 1891, and a Gold Medal at the Exposition Universelle in 1899.
His works today are exhibited in many museums around the world, but it is particularly well known in Scandinavia and in the country of his birth, Denmark. Specializing particularly in genre scenes and in scenes of mealtimes, Johansen made a successful career in the art world before his death in 1935.