Hugo Vilfred Pedersen

Portrait of a Man in a Gold and Coral Turban

Circa 1900

Oil on canvas

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Hugo Vilfred Pedersen (Danish, 1870–1959)

Rajah, Royal Academy, Benezit

This work is offered unframed.

An antique oil painting of an Indian man wearing a saffron and coral turban and a gold earring, shown gazing towards the viewer with quiet, unassuming authority; an exceptionally atmospheric and psychologically penetrating portrait by this notable Danish Orientalist.

Hugo Pedersen first studied under Frantz Peter Henningsen at Copenhagen's Royal Academy of Fine Arts. In 1895, he traveled to Sumatra, Java, Malaysia and Singapore, where he made numerous portrait sketches later published in Through the East-Indian Archipelago. Pedersen lived for some time in the Dutch East Indies and, later, in British India where he continued to develop his skills as a portraitist and figural painter. Pedersen became a much-favored portraitist of both Indian and European rulers, which earned him the nickname "The Rajah painter." His figural works were executed in a sweeping style with a sense of both the narrative and the dramatic. Pedersen favored a bold, modernist palette and he combined bravura brushwork with meticulous attention to detail. He was successful in his own lifetime, receiving international recognition for his work which was widely circulated through reproductions. Hugo Pedersen was the recipient of numerous prizes, medals and juried awards and is listed in all major reference works including both Thieme-Becker and Benezit's definitive Dictionary of Artists. We are pleased to offer this small masterpiece, painted when Pedersen was about 30 years old.

Height: 13.25 inches / 33.66 cm
Width: 10.5 inches / 26.67 cm
Depth: 0.5 inches / 1.27 cm

Signed Hugo V.P. (lower left)


E. Benezit, Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs, et Graveurs, Jacques Busse, 1999 Nouvelle Édition, Gründ 1911, Vol. 10, p. 679.

Thieme-Becker Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zu Gengenwart, Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag 1992, Vol. 26, p. 339.

Weilbach, Dansk Kunstnerleksikon, the Castle and Cultural Agency, Copenhagen.

Condition Report

Minor restoration and minor losses.

Art Period
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