Monday, September 22, 2014

Wilhelm Bendz

The Waagepetersen Family
oil on canvas
99.5 x 88.5 cm
Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark

The head of the family shown in the painting is the wine merchant Christian Waagepetersen. He was one of the men who clearly marked that the middle classes had become the dominant group within Danish society after the aristocracy's centuries of dominance. He was keenly interested in art and music. He held regular musical events at his home, where the leading Danish composers and musicians took part along with some of the artists.

Wilhelm Ferdinand Bendz (1804-1832), born in Odense on the island of Funen, Denmark, is a painter mainly known for genre works and portraits. He often portrayed his artist colleagues and their daily lives.

He was one of the most talented artists in the successful generation of painters, but died early and has therefore left a relatively small oeuvre. Today he is mainly remembered for his many technically accomplished portraits,. His technical virtuosity is particularly visible in his depictions of the play of light cast from an obscured source and the resulting shadows. He died from a lung infection.