The Danish artist Carl Heinrich Bloch was an Academic painter most known for his religious masterpieces. Born in Copenhagen in 1834, Bloch was destined by his parents to become an officer for the Navy. To their discontent, the young man found his passion for art and instead chose to study under one of the most successful artists of the Golden Danish Age, Wilhelm Marstrand at the prestigious Royal Danish Academy of Art. Bloch continued his studies in his travels, wishing to see works of the past masters. He traveled to Italy, where he saw the artists of the Renaissance, and also traveled to the Netherlands and was deeply influenced by the Baroque painter Rembrandt.
In 1859, the artist lived in Italy where he produced paintings portraying the rural lifestyle, with scenes of daily life. He had his first big exhibition in Copenhagen in 1865, which was a great success. He continued living in Italy until 1866, and during this period he continued painting historical artworks. Bloch married to Alma Trepka on May 1868 while in Rome, but she sadly passed away about 18 years later, at the age of 40. The artist was devastated for the loss of his wife which he had eight children with and was left to take care of them alone. By 1873, Bloch's mentor, Marstrand, also passed away, leaving him to conclude the finishing touches on the ceremonial entrance of the University of Copenhagen.
One of Bloch’s most notable paintings is The Imprisoned Danish King Christian II, concluded in 1871 and commissioned for the Valdemar Room, in the King’s Wing at the Frederiksborg Palace. There is also a painting by Otto Bache in the same room. Bloch concluded a total of 23 artworks from 1865 to 1879 for the King’s Chapel portraying the life of Jesus Christ. Bloch was well seen among the art critics for his impeccable technique and religious subject matter, even having Karl Madsen state that no other Danish artist had ever been so near the heaven of art as much as him. His artwork has been used by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a representation of their faith, mostly the artworks found in the Frederiksborg Palace collection. His paintings have even served as an aesthetic influence for the films produced by the church that portray Christ’s stories. The painter was diagnosed with cancer and passed away in February 1890 at the age of fifty-five, which affected the Nordic art society. Bloch painted over 250 artworks, not to mention 78 metal etchings, and shall forever live through his art, especially his breathtaking religious paintings.