Johannes Senn Biography

Johannes Senn




Johannes Heinrich Senn was born in Liestal, Switzerland, on September 17, 1780, brother of painter Jacob Senn. Johannes studied art in Switzerland and then in 1808 traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark for further study. He lived there until 1818. Senn is often classified as a Scandinavian artist.

Senn worked primarily in portraiture and figurative subjects, and sometimes tended to caricature, owing perhaps to his work professional work as an illustrator. He was also costume plate designer and illustrated several series of works depicting the dress of the commons throughout Denmark and Norway. He would complete the series in watercolor and take them to copper engravers such as Gerhard Ludvig Lahde, who would strike and color the works. Among his better known portraits is a watercolor of the family of King Frederik VI of Denmark, unusual in its depiction of the king, his wife Queen Marie, and their two daughters in an outdoor setting strolling through the Frederiksberg Gardens.

The artist died in the town of his birth, on May 29, 1861. (Early accounts showed his death to be around 1830; these appear to have been recently rectified.)