Reading from the Scriptures (1st Commission) (1846)

Baumann, Elizabeth Jerichau (1819 - 1881)

Reading from the Scriptures (1st Commission)

Oil on Canvas: 48" x 60"
Catalog# BAUE-002

In 1846 while exhibiting this painting in London, Baumann was approached by Napoleon Bonaparte III and his wife Empress Eugenie. They were quite impressed by the painting, they requested to purchase the piece. However, because it was a commissioned piece they were turned down in their request to buy it. Yet, Napoleon commissioned a copy of the painting for their London residence. The copy, which hung in their London residence and was later donated to the french embassy, now belongs to The Hope Gallery.

Artist: Baumann, Elizabeth Jerichau (1819-1881)

  • Born November 27th 1819 in Warsaw, Poland, daughter of Philip Adolph Baumann and Johanne Frederikke Reyer.
  • Married Jens Adolf Jerichau February 19th 1846.
  • Died July 11th 1881 in Copenhagen.


  • 1838-45 - Studied Art in Berlin & Düsseldorf
  • 1857-63 - Women were not yet allowed into the Royal Art Academy; But her husband was the Director of the Royal Art Academy, so she received unofficial support, training and critique from the Academy.

Travels & Stays:

  • 1845 - Moved to Rome
  • 1849 - Moved back to Copenhagen
  • 1874-75 - Greece and the Ottoman Empire

Awards & Acknowledgments:

  • 1861 - Baumann was one of the first female artists accepted into the Royal Art Academy.
  • 1846-65 - became known and acknowledged for her portraits of numerous Danish Royalty Statesmen and Figure Heads, including King Christian 9, Queen Louise, Orla Lehmann, Johanne Luise Heiberg, Magdalene Thoresen and Hans Christian Andersen, who was a close friend of the Baumann family. Her notoriety and friendship with the Danish Royal Family later brought her numerous commissions from Russian, Greek and British Royals.
  • 1875-79 - Wrote numerous articles for various publications


  • 1844 - Debut exhibit in Düsseldorf
  • 1846 - London
  • 1851 - Exhibited the allegorical painting of the three year war (1848-51) “Denmark” which put her on the artistic map.
  • 1852 - London
  • 1867 - World Exhibition in Paris
  • 1867 - Exhibitions in Sweden and Germany