Wilhelm Bendz

Wilhelm Bendz

Wilhelm Ferdinand Bendz (March 20 1804 - November 14 1832), Danish genre and portrait painter, is one of the main personages associated with the Golden Age of Danish Painting. He was educated at the Royal Danish Academy of Art ("Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi") in Copenhagen from 1820 to 1825, winning both silver medals but never the gold prize. He studied under professor Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, but may at the same time have acquired some knowledge of contemporary German painting.

Today he is mainly remembered for his many technically accomplished portraits, though his ambition most of all ran towards a refined fusion of portrait, genre scene and allegorical history painting. His technical virtuosity is particularly visible in his depictions of the play of light cast from an obscured source and the resulting shadows. During his travel to Italy - which also brought him a one-year stay in Munich - he caught a sickness to the lungs and died at the age of 28 in 1832.

His main works include several portraits of his fellow artists such as Ditlev Blunck and Christen Christensen (both in the Statens Museum for Kunst), a scene from the Academy's anatomy class, as well as the group portraits "A Tobacco Party" (Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek) and "Artist in the Evening at Finck's Coffee House in Munich" (Thorvaldsens Museum).

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