Wilhelm Arnesen is often referred to as the last in a line of important maritime painters in Denmark. He was known for his detailed and powerful seascapes of large sailing ships, often portraying famous historical events painted in a vivid and naturalistic technique.
Arnesen was born in Flensburg on the Danish and German border. His father was a sea captain and a keen model ship builder and from a young age Arnesen showed an interest in the maritime world and was keen to study and form detailed drawings of ships.
Arnesen studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and became the preeminent maritime painter of his generation in Denmark. His paintings were highly sought after and collected by Europeans and Americans alike and can today be found in notable private collections worldwide.