PEDER MONSTED
Danish 1859 –1941

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Peder Monsted was born in Balle Molle, near Grenaa, Denmark, in December 1859.  He died at Fredensborg in June 1941.  His urn rests at Garnisons Kirkegard, an old cemetery in Copenhagen where many prominent Danish people are buried.
He was the son of Otto Christian Monsted who was a shipbuilder, photographer and collector for the National lottery, and Thora Johanne Petrea Jorgensen.  He married Elna Mathilde Marie Sommer in Frederiksberg in 1889.
Monsted’s art teacher at school was Andreas Fritz (1828-1906), who was to prove an important influence on his work.  He studied at the Prince Ferdinand School of art in Aarhus, and was accepted at the Royal Academy of Art in Copenhagen, attending preparatory classes in October 1875. There, Monsted was taught by Frederik Vermeheren (1823-1910), Julius Exner (1825-1910) and Niels Simonsen (1807-1885). This generation of artists turned away from the prevailing style of Dusseldorf romanticism and veered towards a nationalistic consciousness, which resulted in the creation of a new peasant genre.  Monsted left the Academy in 1879 without taking his final examinations.  For a time he also studied under the most original artist of the period, Peder Severin Kroyer (1851-1909), whose painting inspired all around him with magical interpretations of light and air.
Monsted’s talent as a landscape artist developed during a summer holiday in Jutland under the particular guidance of his first teacher Andreas Fritz.  The influence of earlier landscape artists, including Otto Bache, Janus la Cour, Godfred Christensen, Thorvald Niss and Knud Larsen, then became visible.
Monsted traveled extensively.  In 1882 he visited Capri and Switzerland, continuing to Paris in 1883.  During his stay in Paris he worked for four months with William Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905), an unbending traditionalist of leading importance at the Salon, who nevertheless did not inhibit the young artist’s eye for new ideas.  After painting in Italy he traveled to Algiers in 1889 and on to Switzerland.  In 1892 he boarded the Corvette St. Thomas, cruising the Mediterranean and subsequently becoming the personal guest of King George of Greece for six months.  Later, he visited Egypt.Making his home in Denmark, Monsted continued to travel throughout his career: Monaco, 1902; Menton 1906;  Lillehammer 1916;  Ravello 1926;  Venice 1928;  and the Engadin Mountains in 1933.  He was primarily a landscape artist but also painted several notable portraits including King George of Greece.
Monsted shows a distinctive approach to nature, his technique broadening with the years yet persisting in a perfect sense of balance and clarity of light which touches the essentials of each locality with simplicity.
He contributed to numerous exhibitions from 1874 until his death in 1941, of which the following venues are recorded:

  • the December exhibition at Charlottenborg, 1874, and then continuously between 1879-1941

  • the Autumn exhibition at Charlottenborg, 1922 and 1931

  • the Art Society of 1st November, 1882, 1921, 1931, 1925-1932, 1937 and 1942

  • the Nordic exhibition, 1883 and 1888

  • Kleist Kunsthandel, Copenhagen, 1892

  • Lubeck, 1895

  • Copenhagen Town Hall, 1901

  • Aarhus Society of Art, 1909, 1919, 1928

  • Studio exhibitions, 1921, 1923-24, 1926, 1927, 1930-36

  • the Glaas Palace in Munich

  • the Salon in Paris

Apart from many important collections, paintings by Monsted are in the Aalborg Museum, the Collection of Queen Alexandrine, The National Gallery, Copenhagen, and the Randers Museum.