Born in Denmark, Einar Wegener was a successful Impressionist painter of which this work is a beautiful example. Whilst studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, Wegener met Gerda Gottlieb and they were married in 1904. Establishing a reputation for his Impressionist landscapes and urban scenes, Wegener exhibited at the Kunstnernes Efterarsudstilling, Vejle Art Museum and was awarded the Neuhausens prize in 1907.
They moved to Paris in 1912, where Wegener exhibited at the salons such as the Salon d’Automne. Around this time he apparently discovered a penchant for dressing up in women’s clothes whilst standing in for a model who his wife was painting. Before long he was attending public events dressed as his alter ego “Lili Elbe”, and became a regular model for his wife, whose work was attracting much interest. In 1930 Wegener undertook a series of radical groundbreaking sex-change operations, with limited success. The story became international news and the King of Denmark voided their marriage, but Wegener did succeed in legally changing his name and gender. Wegener died shortly after as a result of organ rejection. His story has become the subject of a film in 2015 called “The Danish Girl” starring Eddie Redmayne.
Wegener’s work is in several public collections including the Vejle Art Museum, Denmark.