Albert Anker (1831-1910) was born to a veterinarian in Ins, Switzerland. He originally planned to devote his life to theology, but was inspired to become an artist after witnessing the amazing art collections of Germany. After getting his father’s blessing, he moved to Paris to study and exhibit his works. He also started a family there, fathering 4 children who made it past an early age, who would be featured in their father’s paintings. He would travel around Europe, where his work was well-received, but when he got back to his home of Ins is when he developed his signature style.
His paintings portrayed the common people of Switzerland, without glorifying village life, but also not offering any harsh critique beyond an occasional painting of a usurer or other shysters who would visit the Swiss villages. He also painted still lifes. His artistic style involved bright colors, fine detail, and accessible subjects. Anker once said:
"One has to shape an ideal in one’s imagination, and then one has to make that ideal accessible to the people."
Anker is considered “the national painter” of Switzerland, with his studio being made into a museum and his works still making their way onto stamps.