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, June 21, 2015

The Waagepetersen Family, by Wilhelm Bendz, 1830

Wilhelm Bendz - only two years away from his premature death - has portrayed the merchant Waagepetersen and his wife Albertine with their two young children in what looks to be the husband's study. Christian Waagepetersen (6 September 1787, Copenhagen - 23 November 1840, Copenhagen) was a successful Danish wine merchant, supplier to the royal court, and an important patron of the arts. The couple's home at Store Strandstræde in Copenhagen was a gathering place of some of the era's most important musicians, many of whom Waagepetersen helped support. His love of music was so profound that he named three of his sons Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven.

The children look rather stiff and doll-like, but Bendz's portrait of Waagepetersen is vivid, what could be called a "speaking likeness".
The artist's portrayal of Albertine Waagepetersen can't have been terribly flattering....
The light streaming in from the open window - illuminating, reflecting - is wonderful.
I love how the light reflects the gold-leaf onto the walls, and I think the ribbon-wrapped picture cords and their rosettes are charming.
I believe that the two oval portraits are of  Waagepetersen's parents. Above them, Napoléon...?
Above the jumble of books on the mahogany desk is a portrait of the Danish king, Frederik VI. In the glass cylinder, a little green frog.
I love the rather grumpy looking dog, lying on a cushion at his master's feet.


 "Familien Waagepetersen", by Wilhelm Marstrand,1836.

Mrs. Waagepetersen - in a more flattering portrait, certainly - is, six years later, portrayed by Marstrand with three additional children and what appear to be a nurse (in traditional costume) and a governess. Her husband, not included in the group, would die four years later.

Wilhelm Marstrand (24 December 1810, Copenhagen – 25 March 1873, Copenhagen), painter and illustrator, one of the important artists of the "Golden Age of Danish Painting". Like Bendz, he was, early in his career, a protégé of Christian Waagepetersen and was his favored artist after the death of Bendz.

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