Peder Severin Krøyer (1851-1909), Boys Bathing at Skagen. Summer Evening, 1899
Among all the Skagen painters, P.S. Krøyer was the most brilliant and also the most celebrated in his own day. He would make any composition work as perfectly as could be using only a few simple devices.
The painting's composition
Here he creates a diagonal movement from the boys in the foreground to the ships by the horizon. The ships – and our gaze – moves to the right, meeting the white moonbeam that takes us back to the boy and the beach of Skagen.
A narrative of light summer nights
In this simple, yet grandiose composition Krøyer reinforced his narrative of the light summer nights of Skagen. A narrative that effortlessly slides into its slot among the many paintings of the period that address the relationship between man, the sea, and light. A theme that was of particular interest to devotees of vitalism within literature and art.
The blue colour of hope
Krøyer submitted the painting for the World Exhibition held in Paris in 1900. Painted on the threshold of a new century, the children and young people represent renewal and confidence in the future. To Krøyer, whose own life was clouded by long episodes of deep depression, the alldominating, liquid and dreamy blue is not the colour of melancholy, but the blue colour of hope.