A young woman dressed in black sits in a field of flowers, leaning back against a fence and blowing on dandelion seeds. The artist depicts the scene up close, as though sitting in the grass next to her. The picture is rich in detail, and in particular the vegetation in the foreground has been meticulously reproduced. The depth of the painting is underscored by the diagonal fence, which simultaneously dominates the painting and separates the foreground from the background. As also seen in many other of Ring’s works, the woman in this painting seems flat, as though she were a cutout that had been included later on. Contemporary critics disapproved of such simplified representations, which they considered as evincing a lack of skill.
But In the Month of June was not only meant to be an objective depiction of reality: the painting also embodies symbolic elements, and the scene can be seen as a magic ritual where the woman spreads fertility and creates new life. The woman resembles Ring’s young wife Sigrid, and their first child was in fact born the same year the picture was painted.
L. A. Ring often depicted people in everyday situations in the villages of Zealand in Denmark, where he lived most of his life. Unlike many of his Danish contemporaries, he was not influenced by French impressionism. Rather, his style is more detailed and realism- oriented, and he continued the Dutch, French, and Danish legacy of realistically depicting folk life, even as he added certain personal, ambiguous, and modern elements.
Text: Frithjof Bringager
From "Highlights. Art from Antiquity to 1945", Nasjonalmuseet 2014, ISBN 978-82-8154-088-0