canvas dimensions 11.41 x 8.66 inches (29 x 22 cm) frame 15.35 x 12.59 inches (39 x 32 cm)
David Monies (1812-1894) was a Danish portrait and genre painter. His father, Salomon (1786-1853) was a Jewish businessman from the Netherlands. Originally wealthy, the family lost all of its money during the Danish state bankruptcy of 1813 and the children were raised in poverty. He and his brothers were forced to work at their father's small cigar factory and peddle what they made in the street.
However, when he was only twelve, he had already gained access to classes at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts; he soon began painting and exhibiting portraits. During the early 1830s, he gained many supporters and admirers in the professional and artistic communities. He also began to do genre paintings at this time. Many featured his fellow artists as part of the ensembles.
This painting depicting a yet unknown sitter is proof of Monies' skills in painting portraits with great attention to detail. It's almost like a photograph; all the skin tones and shadows are remarkably well executed.
In 1847, he became an "Agré" (a type of member candidate) at the Academy and was promoted to full member the following year.
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