The Skagen Painters were a group of Scandinavian artists who gathered in the area of Skagen, the northernmost part of Denmark, from the late 1870s until the turn of the century. Skagen was a summer destination whose scenery and quality of light attracted northern artists to paint en plein air following the French Impressionists—though members of the Skagen collective were also influenced by realist movements such as the Barbizon school. They broke away from the rather rigid traditions of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, espousing the latest trends they had learnt in Paris.
Skagen, in the very north of Jutland, was the largest fishing community in Denmark, with more than half of its population so engaged. Among the locals, fishermen were by far the most common subject for the Skagen painters. Skagen's long beaches were exploited in the group's landscapes; Peder Severin Krøyer, one of the best-known of the Skagen painters, was inspired by the light of the evening "Blue Hour", which made the water and sky seem to optically merge. This is captured in one of his most famous paintings, Summer Evening at Skagen Beach – The Artist and his Wife.
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