1818 - 1875
After abandoning his dream of becoming a sailor owing to his myopia, Melbye trained as a shipbuilder. Eventually, he found his way to painting and, after studying with Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, became one of the most sought-after marine painters of the time. Inspired by his travels to the Baltic and North seas, Morocco, and Turkey, he was especially adept at capturing dramatic shifts in light and weather. While in Paris, he met both Camille Corot and Camille Pissarro. His distinctions include an appointment as ambassadorial attaché, award of the Order of the Dannebrog, the Thorvaldsen Medal, and the Legion of Honor. He also learned how to make daguerreotypes directly from the photography technique’s inventor, Louis Daguerre.
Place of Birth: Copenhagen
Place of Death: Paris
Text written and researched by Michelle Bird National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.