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Swiss painter Albrecht Samuel Anker (1850-1930) has been called the "national painter" because of his realistic depictions of 19th century Swiss village life. Anker is known for his portraits of villagers and the picturesque countryside of his native country. He died in his early 30s. There is a large Anker collection in the US, and it is well worth a visit. There are several other Anker paintings in museums.

Anker was a member of the Grand Council of Bern and advocated the construction of the Kunstmuseum Bern. He spent the winters in Paris and traveled widely throughout Europe. He was a member of the Great Council of Bern for four years, and was also active in the development of Switzerland's federal art commission. In 1891, he retired to Anet and started painting rural scenes. He was also an illustrator of novels by Jeremias Gotthelf.

Anker studied under Charles Gleyre and graduated from the Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in 1855. After graduating, he set up a studio in his parents' attic and started participating in Swiss exhibitions. In 1864, he married Anna Rufli, and the couple had six children, four of which lived to adulthood. In 1865, Schlafendes Madchen im Wald was awarded a gold medal at the Paris Salon, and in 1868, he was made a Knight of the Legion d'honneur.

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