Born at the end of the “golden age” of Danish painting, Peder Mork Monsted (1859-1941) was a landscape painter renowned for the clarity of light that typified the artists of that time.
Brought up in Grenaa in eastern Denmark, Monsted was a student at the Crown Prince Ferdinand’s Drawing School in Arhus, under Andreas Fritz, a landscape and portrait painter. He then studied at the Royal Academy of Art in Copenhagen between 1875 and 1876, and was taught figure painting by Julius Exner. He became influenced by Andreas Fritz, Christen Kobke (an outstanding colourist) and Peter Christian Skovgaard (a romantic landscape painter) during these early years. Monsted´s style developed further in the studio of Peder Severin Kroyer and through a brief period with William Adolphe Bouguereau in Paris in 1882-83.
Monsted traveled extensively throughout his long career, being a frequent visitor to Switzerland, Italy and North Africa. As early as 1884, Monsted visited North Africa for a lengthy period before returning later in the decade. He continued to travel, visiting Switzerland, the south of France and Italy, the latter being the source of inspiration for many Scandinavian artists of the nineteenth century. However, throughout his long career, Monsted continued to paint the Danish landscape and coastline.
In keeping with the traditions he admired, Monsted’s paintings are very much romantic depictions of nature, with the grandeur of the landscapes executed with a remarkable eye for detail and colour. Monsted’s wide ranging education helped him to assimilate the virtuoso techniques of academic naturalism but he transformed these devices to create an almost photo-realist artistic style all his own which won him great acclaim and wealth in his own lifetime.
His wide-ranging popularity can be gauged by the fact that museums as diverse as The Chi-Mei Museum in Taiwan, the Dahesh Museum in Brooklyn, and of course numerous galleries in Scandinavia contain examples of his work.