Georg Emil Hansen
Georg Emil Hansen was one of Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

's pioneering photographers in the second half of the 19th century. He had his own studio in Copenhagen and later became a successful court photographer.

Early life

A native of Naestved
Næstved a commercial town in a municipality of the same name, lies on the island of Zealand in Denmark. The town is one hour's travel from Copenhagen. Næstved has a population of 41,667 . Næstved's UN/LOCODE is DKNVD....

 in southern Sealand, he learnt the art of daguerreotyping
The daguerreotype was the first commercially successful photographic process. The image is a direct positive made in the camera on a silvered copper plate....

 from his father C.C. Hansen who had begun to produce daguerreotypes in 1849. After studying photography in Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, in 1854 he helped his father set up a studio near Kongens Nytorv
Kongens Nytorv
Kongens Nytorv is a public square in Copenhagen, Denmark, centrally located at the end of the pedestrian street Strøget. The finest and largest square of the city, it was laid out by Christian V in 1670 in connection with a major extension of the fortified city, and has an equestrian statue of...

 in the centre of Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

. The new equipment he had brought back from Germany was of considerable assistance.

In 1856, he opened a studio of his own, first located in Bredgade
Bredgade is one of the most prominent streets in Copenhagen, Denmark. Running in a straight line from Kongens Nytorv for just under one kilometre to the intersection of Esplanaden and Grønningen, it is one of the major streets in Frederiksstaden, a Rococo district laid out in the middle of the...

 and later in Østergade.

Court photographer

He later became a court photographer, taking photographs of royalty in Denmark, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. He was particularly successful in selling prints of the Danish royal family using the carte de visite
Carte de visite
The carte de visite was a type of small photograph which was patented in Paris, France by photographer André Adolphe Eugène Disdéri in 1854, although first used by Louis Dodero...

 technique. It is estimated that he sold some 37,000 prints of the young Princess Alexandra
Alexandra of Denmark
Alexandra of Denmark was the wife of Edward VII of the United Kingdom...

 when she married Crown Prince Edward
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

 in 1863.

Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author, fairy tale writer, and poet noted for his children's stories. These include "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," "The Snow Queen," "The Little Mermaid," "Thumbelina," "The Little Match Girl," and "The Ugly Duckling."...

was very interested in photography. From the very beginning he had invited photographers to take his portrait.

He posed on many occasions for Hansen between 1860 and 1874. In his diary entry for 19 July 1862, Andersen records: "Went to Hansen who photographed me; got 24 portraits".
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