L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Paintings by Wilhelm Bendz

A Smoking Party, 1827-28.

Wilhelm Ferdinand Bendz (20 March 1804, Odense - 14 November 1832, Vicenza), Danish painter mainly known for genre works and portraits which often portray his artist colleagues and their daily lives. He was one of the most talented of the artists who studied under Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, but he died early and therefore left a relatively small oeuvre.

At the age of sixteen he was sent to Copenhagen where he attended the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts from 1820 to 1825, and where he studied under Eckersberg. In his last year there, he made an unsuccessful attempt to win the gold medal - which was only given to history paintings, the most prestigious genre at that time - and after that decided to specialize in the portraits and genre works for which he would be remembered.

After his graduation he participated at the annual exhibitions at Charlottenborg from 1826 to 1828, and was then employed as an assistant in Eckersberg's studio. There he painted copies of his master's work, and participated on projects such as the reconstruction of Abildgaard's history paintings at Christiansborg Palace which had been destroyed in the fire of 1794.

In 1830 Bendz received a travel scholarship which enabled him to study in southern Europe. After visiting Dresden and Berlin, he stopped for about a year in Munich, which was then a vibrant center for the arts. In the autumn of 1832 he continued his journey towards Rome, stopping in Venice, where he was reunited with Ditlev Blunck, a friend and fellow painter from his student days at the Academy in Copenhagen. They continued on together, but Bendz, who had fallen ill in Venice, died shortly after in Vicenza from a lung infection. He was twenty-eight.

Portrait of a Young Man, 1832.
Artists in the Evening at Finck's Coffee House in Munich, 1832.
Portrait of an Elderly Woman, 1832.
Interior from Amaliegade: Captain Carl Ludvig Bendz Standing and Dr. Jacob Christian Bendz Seated, 1829. (The models are Benz's brothers.)
Portrait of the Anatomist Henrik Carl Bang Bendz, 1829. (Another of the artist's brothers.)
A Young Artist [Ditlev Blunck] Examining a Sketch in a Mirror, 1826.


  1. amazing talent -I think the best thing is the accurate depiction of a group meeting with only 2 candles.... everyone should see that painting! "back in the day" people made do with much less light than we are accustomed to.

    1. I suppose it was a bit tough on the eyesight, but it was certainly charming. ; )