Golden Age painter
The Danish Golden Age painter Gustav Theodor Wegener (aka Theodor, 1817–1877) was a pupil of court painter and wallpaper manufacturer Jon Gulsen Berg before attending the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Inspired by this, he became renowned for his interior paintings, but in this genre he was probably somewhat overshadowed by the pupils of C. W. Eckersberg, including Wilhelm Marstrand, with whom Wegener collaborated whilst working on the décor of the University of Copenhagen ceremonial hall (Festsalen).
However, Wegener embraced a wide range of artistic genres and produced a number of altarpieces inspired by the Italian Renaissance; he also produced historic paintings, often based on medieval Danish themes and folk songs. He subsequently also undertook theatre decorations, for example at The Royal Danish Theatre.
Gustav Theodor Wegener was at least equally renowned as a portrait painter. Those of his portraits being auctioned in online auction 1050 embody a wealth of personal characteristics, a great sense of artistry and meticulous detail.
The collection going under the hammer includes portraits of his parents and siblings. His father Ernst Wegener, principal and later a member of the supreme governing body of Jonstrup Seminarium, is depicted as a somewhat harsh gentleman with piercing eyes. On the other hand, his mother Birgitte Wegener is depicted as an erect, gentle lady with a loving look in her eyes.
His portraits of his brother Christian and sister-in-law Caroline Wegener are quite different and look much more official, with a landed gentry feel. He also held the title “jagtjunker” and served as forest supervisor at Gisselfeldt, and lived at the forest supervisor’s residence, “Sophiehøj”. The portrait of his little sister Jakobe Wegener is practically a snapshot of a proud, carefree little girl on her way to school with books under her arm, wearing a pink dress and straw hat.
Gustav Theodor Wegener’s self portrait is very revealing and biographical. He depicted himself on a summer’s day in a relaxed heroic pose with a cap and long pipe. A restful portrait of a Danish Golden Age painter.
Online auction 1050
The auction concludes on Wednesday 15 December from 8 pm.
You can view all the paintings and bid here