Danish painter. After being trained in Copenhagen and studying in Paris (1810-13) under Jacques-Louis David,
he continued his studies in Rome (1814), where he executed a masterly portrait of his friend Thorvaldsen (Royal Academy, Copenhagen, 1815). Returning to Copenhagen in 1816, he occupied himself mainly with portraits,
minutely rendering the features of his models with a Neoclassic feeling for c1arity and purity of line. He also painted many landscapes, however (as he had done in Rome), and as an influential teacher at the Copenhagen Academy (from 1818) he introduced painting from nature into the curriculum. He also executed some religious themes and subjects from Danish history in Christiansborg Palace.
His pupils included Johan Christian Dahl
and Christen Købke
. He has been called the father of Danish painting because of the influence he exerted on Danish painters in the second quarter of the 19th century. With Christen Købke
he was the leading painter of the Danish Golden Age (c. 1800-1850).
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