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Wilhelm Arnesen was born in Flensburg, Denmark in 1865, the son of Captain George C.C.V Arnesen, and at an early age showed interest in the building and drawing of model ships.  He commenced his art education at the young age of 14 and attended the Royal College of Art, Copenhagen 1884-1888.

He was invited to sail with the Royal Danish navy on several occasions and in 1895 Arnesen was introduced to Prince Carl.  They became close friends and continued to sail together.  During 1891-1925 Arnesen travelled widely and visited, among many places, the Mediterranean, North America and Iceland and became known for his evocative and powerful seascapes of large ships, which often portray historical events.

Arnensen’s vivid naturalistic seascapes were well regarded and he was awarded RA,Copenhagen medals in 1891, 1896, 1898 and 1902.

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