L.A. Ring - a short biography
152 years ago Laurits Andersen was born in the small village Ring located in southern Zealand. Later he changed his name to his native town and was known as L.A. Ring.
Laurits Andersen was born. His parents were the carpenter and wheelwright Anders Olsen (1816-83) and Johanne Andersdatter (1814-95), who came from a family of smallholders.
Laurits became apprenticed to a housepainter since his older brother was destined to take over the father’s workshop.
The opportunity to go to Copenhagen arrived when a local merchant hired Laurits to do paintwork in the Capital. His first landscapes and portraits date from this time, but he recognized the necessity of seeking out the formalised training offered at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Thus his training began by attending day and evening classes at the Technical College.
Laurits was finally admitted to the Academy as a student, but the classes disappointed him. The requirements as regards drawing technique caused him particular problems. He left the Academy after three years. The following years he lived both in Copenhagen and in his native town.
The friend and painter Hans Andersen and Laurits decided to adopt the names of their home towns. One reason for this was to avoid confusion of mistaken identities. Since then the two artists were known as L.A. Ring and H.A. Brendekilde.
Ring had his debut at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts’ annual exhibition, the Charlottenborg exhibition, in 1882. But it was in 1884, he had his final breakthrough. The same year political tensions ran high in Denmark when Estrup, the Prime Minister, adopted provisory laws suspending the democratic decision-making processes laid down in the Danish Constitution. Ring’s social and political commitment was strong and left a clear imprint on his art.
A stipend and sale of works allowed Ring to embark on a journey to Italy. When returning to Denmark he settled down in Næstved.
While working on the painting Spring Ring and Sigrid Kähler, who was his model - then aged 21, had fallen in love. They married and in Karrebæksminde Ring finally got a home of his own. Together they raised three children. Sigrid died of lung cancer in 1923 – at the age of 49.
The luminously clear Summer’s Day, Roskilde Fjord was painted and Ring was awarded a bronze medal for the painting At the French Windows. The Artist’s Wife.
Ring became a member of the board of censors at Charlottenborg, and his paintings were in this period exhibited in numerous international exhibitions for instance in London, Berlin and New York.
At Sankt Jørgensbjerg in Roskilde Ring bought a plot of land occupying an elevated position near old village houses with a view of Roskilde and the fjord. His friend, the architect A.L. Clemmensen designed a house that was ready in January 1914. Ring had a central position in the contemporary art scene, and his paintings were finally earning him a regular and considerable income.
In September Ring died aged 79.