Young man resting
Wilhelm Ferdinand Bendz (1804-1832)

Young man resting, ca. 1830.

Black pencil on paper, H. 0.237 mm; W. 0.287 mm

Inscribed lower right: Ein Künstler in tiefem / Nachdenken versunken.

Provenance: Private collection.

Bendz was a student at the Royal Academy from 1820 to 1826. Starting in May 1822 he was Eckersberg’s pupil for about a year. After trying in vain to win a gold medal in 1825, he turned away from the Academy and history painting in order to specialize in genre painting. In his representations of his contemporaries, the figures are configured in complex arrangements, often enriched by interesting light effects. He seems to have gotten inspiration more from baroque art than from the Eckersberg school. He exhibited a number of works at Charlottenborg in 1826, 1827 and 1828, three of which were purchased for the royal collections. With a scholarship from the Academy, he left for Italy in June 1831, passing first through Hamburg, Berlin, Dresden and finally Munch, where he stopped for a full year. There, he met Christian Morgenstern, with whom he went on trips to the Alps to paint in nature. In 1832, he left for Venice with Thomas Fearnley and Joseph Petzl. He died suddenly in Vicenza after falling ill.