Sivgard Hansen was mainly a landscape painter, specializing in open snow-covered tracts of countryside, deserted, or peopled by a few distant figures. The real subject of these arcadian emptinesses is the piercingly clear Nordic light in which they bathe, and the coloured shadows cast on the snow. He was a master of technically difficult effects of diffused and refracted light; and also a master of composition – the spectator is often drawn into his work by a path or road winding back into the painting, and by the low viewpoint he favoured. His spring and summer landscapes are equally skilful; he was adept at recreating texture: grass, rushes, scrub and sand, the shadows again picked out in pure colour. He painted equally well-realized interiors.
Sigvard Marius Hansen (1859-1938) was born in Copenhagen to Anton Hansen, a carpenter. He studied porcelain painting at the Aluminia School of Art and then attended the Royal Academy of Art (1876-83), both in Copenhagen. He travelled through much of northern Europe, visiting England in 1878, when he studied ceramic and glass painting, and again from 1889-90.
He won the Sodrings Prize in 1886, the Danish Royal Academy Medal in 1886, 1893 & 1902, and the Bielke Medal in 1895, and worked as a painter at the Aluminia Porcelain Company until 1882. His paintings were shown at the Charlottenborg Palace from 1882-1938; the Nordic Exhibition, Copenhagen, between1888 & 1933; the Royal Academy, London, 1889-90; the Nordic Art Exhibition, Lübeck, 1895; and various other exhibitions in Copenhagen and Hamburg. A memorial exhibition was devoted to him in Sollerod, in 1974.