(b. 1843, Rønne, d. 1917, Frederiksberg)


Danish painter (full name: Peder Henrik Kristian Zahrtmann). He was a part of the Danish artistic generation in the late 19th century, along with Peder Severin Krøyer and Theodor Esbern Philipsen, who broke away from both the strictures of traditional Academicism and the heritage of the Golden Age of Danish Painting, in favour of naturalism and realism.

He studied painting at the Sorø Academy, where he studied painting with landscape painter Hans Harder (1792-1873). Between 1864 and 1868 he studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Art in Copenhagen under - among others - Wilhelm Marstrand and Frederik Vermehren. He exhibited regularly at Charlottenborg 1869-1891. He exhibited at the World Exhibitions in Paris 1878, 1889, 1900 and in Chicago 1893.

In 1875-1878 he resided in Italy, where he produced a number of paintings. He traveled afterwards many times again to Italy. He also traveled to Greece several times, as well as to France and Portugal.

He was known especially for his history paintings, and especially those depicting strong, tragic, legendary women in Danish history. He also produced works of many other genres including landscapes, street scenes, folk scenes and portraits.

Zahrtmann became interested in the story of the heroic 17th century daughter of a Danish king, Leonora Christine (1621-1698). He commemorated her story in a series of 18 large paintings over many years.

Zahrtmann taught at the Artists Studio School 1885-1908. He had some 200 students from the Scandinavian countries. Because of his prominence as a teacher the school was often simply referred to as "Zahrtmann's School".