Rasmus Christiansen (after Kristian Zahrtmann)
(b. Bjertrup near Skanderborg 1863, d. Copenhagen 1940)
“Charlotte Dorothea Biehl”. The Writing Maid sitting on the window sill listening for fresh gossip from the Royal Danish Court, ready to write it down. Signed and dated R. x Chr. 1910. Inscribed with Kristian Zahrtmann's monogram 1874. Oil on board. 56 × 44 cm.
Charlotte Dorothea Biehl (1731–1788), the so-called “Writing Maid”, is the most famous Danish author during the 18th century. Most known is her letters, written to her friend Johan Bülow, with many details from the life of the Royal Danish Court. Her sources were multifarious in contemporary Copenhagen, which is shown in the present painting. Here she is sitting hidden in the window sill - listening to peoples' street talk.
Provenance: Bruun Rasmussen auktion 1238, 2012 no. 59.