The painter Jens Juel represents something close to the high point of Danish portrait painting of the 18th century. He was apprenticed in Hamburg, and his talent was so great that, during the time of his studies, he could live off painting landscapes, portraits and genre pictures.
He soon won great recognition at the Academy of Arts in Copenhagen. He received the Small Gold Medal in 1767 and the Great Gold Medal three years later, in both cases for pictures with biblical motives. Jens Juel was also the first artist in Danish art to cultivate the landscape, he painted fine landscapes full of character.
But it was as a painter of portraits that he made his best works. Here, Jens Juel unifies elegant composition and confident characterization with a sense for texture and colour, which shows him as a typical, but outstanding, representative of his time. Jens Juel and his studio painted the largest part of the elite of the time. He was court painter and became professor at the Academy, of which he was director from 1795 until his death.