Portrait of Marriage (Self Portrait)1890 by Peder Severin Krøyer

Double-portrait of Marie and P.S. Krøyer.

In 1890, the couple created the double portrait in which they painted each other.... Krøyer painted Marie, and Marie painted him.

Peder Severin Krøyer painted various portraits of his wife, Marie Krøyer née Triepcke, a fellow Danish artist who was said to be one of the most beautiful women in Copenhagen. Norwegian-born Peder had met and painted Marie in Copenhagen but fell in love with her when they met in Paris in 1889. After a honeymoon in northern Jutland and Italy, the couple settled in Skagen on the northern tip of Jutland in 1891, joining the group of artists that became known as the Skagen Painters.

The first few years of their marriage were reasonably happy, leading to the birth of their daughter Vibeke in 1895, but as a result of P. S. Krøyer's periods of mental illness, by the early 1900s they spent ever more time apart. In 1902, Marie began an affair with the Swedish composer Hugo Alfvén, with whom she became pregnant in 1905. Thereafter she spent most of her time with Alfvén in Sweden, marrying him in 1912, three years after Krøyer had died in Skagen.

Krøyer's paintings of Marie between 1888 and 1906 present a record of the years they spent together. They show some of their most enjoyable times but also hint at the marital tension that increased as time went by. Among the most notable paintings of her are Summer Evening at Skagen. The Artist's Wife and Dog by the Shore (1892), one of Denmark's most popular works, which shows Marie on the beach with their dog and with the moonlight reflected in the sea, Roses (1893), which depicts her relaxing in the garden, and Summer Evening at Skagen Beach – The Artist and his Wife (1899). Also of note are the depictions of Marie on holiday in Ravello on the Amalfi Coast of Italy in 1890; the portrait for the frieze in the dining room at Skagen's Brøndums Hotel; Chez Moi, a series of watercolours of Marie and the couple's daughter Vibeke in the family homes in Copenhagen and Skagen; and Midsummer Eve Bonfire on Skagen Beach, his last painting of her in which she is shown captured in the firelight with Alfvén.

...Marie Krøyer (1867–1940) came from an affluent German family who had moved to Copenhagen. From an early age she aspired to become an artist and after private training she went to study in Paris where Krøyer began to court her. It is believed Marie was subsequently reluctant to paint as she looked up to Krøyer as a far more accomplished artist. A few of her works have nevertheless survived.

Krøyer had visited the atelier where Marie was studying on several occasions, but the first of his works in which she appears is A Duet, painted in Heinrich Hirschsprung's Copenhagen home in 1887 where she had been invited to model for him. She can be seen seated on the left of the painting in a red dress....
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