Attr. Georg Mathias Fuchs, Portrait Of Admiral Frederik Christian Kaas

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A characterful late 18th-century portrait of Admiral Frederik Christian Kaas (1725-1803), attributed to Austrian artist, Georg Mathias Fuchs (1719-1797).

Frederik Christian Kaas was a Danish naval officer and landowner that was probably best known for his expeditions to North Africa. On one such expedition in 1751, he travelled to Morocco under the command of Captain Simon Hooglants. During his time there, he was detained while treaties were negotiated in Algiers. It took around two years before these were settled and as such he didn’t return to Denmark until 1753. This level of dedication was noticed by the King who expressed his satisfaction.

Over the course of the next seven years or so, Kaas made several trips to the Mediterranean and achieved the rank of Commander. And following several promotions, he ultimately attained the rank of Rear Admiral in 1768.

It seems plausible that he met the artist, Georg Mathias Fuchs, between 1770 and 1790 as Fuchs was, at that time, working as a drawing teacher at the Danish Naval Academy. Fuchs was a specialist in portraiture and had trained in Venice with the painter, Jacopo Amigoni (1685-1752) and then later at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen.

This particular portrait is a good example of his characterful style and bears many striking similarities with several of his other works. For comparison, you can find some examples of his portraiture at the Danish National Art Library

Oil on canvas
Size including frame
18” x 15” / 46cm x 38cm
Year of creation
c. 1790
Craquelure throughout but the paint is stable. No visible losses. Frame with age-related wear.
Artist’s auction highlight
£7,000 achieved at Sotheby’s, UK, in 1992 for ‘The bird trap/Rustic dalliance’.