Monday, September 2, 2013


Ludovica Anina Thornam  "self Portrait"  1885  location unknown 

Ludovica Anina Thornam (1853-1896) was a Danish portrait and genre painter. Immediately following high school she studied for two years with painter Vilhelm Kyhn in Copenhagen, the same Drawing School for Women that Anna Ancher attended.  A few years later Thornam fulfilled a long-held dream to go to Paris where she continued her studies at the Académie Julian from approximately 1887 through 1893. In addition to her academic studies, during these years she went on painting/study trips around Europe with her sister Emmy Marie Thornam, who was also a painter. Ludovica specialized as a portrait painter and additionally she gave private lessons.  It is noted that she was one of the few Danish women painters at that time who made their living through painting. She died at a relatively young age, in her very early forties, and I was unable to find out any further information about her. Her sister Emmy, who was a professional writer as well as a professional painter,  wrote a book that was published in 1932 titled Min søster og jeg (trans: "My Sister and I") which I assume gives more biographical information about these two painting sisters. If anyone has read it, or has a copy please let me know!


valerie walsh said...

I looked up the book Nancy and here is what I found and this copy is $125.00 :
No Publisher (Danish Communist Party), No Place (copenhagen?). Paper Wrappers. First Edition Thus. Very Good Condition; 4to; 32 pages; Illegal underground wartime Danish edition of MY SISTER AND I--THE DIARY OF A DUTCH BOY REFUGEE. The book is a pre-Anne Frank diary of a Dutch boy who survives the bombing of Rotterdam and flees to England and then the US. Intersting not only as a child refugee's memoirs of flight from war, but also as a propaganda item printed to build teh sense of solidarity among Danes with those in other overrun countries (like Holland) . Mimeographed and staped into blank wrappers. Fabritius reports that this was issued by the Danish Communist Party in January 1943 in an edition of 3000 copies.

valerie walsh said...

oops, I think this is not the same sorry! I apologize. it sounds interesting though! I thought for sure this was it but I failed to see the author is not her sister... sorry about that!

valerie walsh said...

gee, I looked in all the antiquarian sites and search engines and the only book by that name is the one I listed above and she was deceased by then, she died in 1935 I believe.

Nancy Bea Miller said...

Thanks so much for trying Val! The book I was wondering about was published in 1932 and its author, Emmy Thornam, died in 1935. I assume it came out only in Denmark (that's why I gave its Danish title along with the translation) and was perhaps just a small printing run. But I thought maybe it would be known in Denmark, even if not all over? Any Danish art historians out there? Please weigh in! ;-)