Who is Johanna Marie Fosie?

By Gwylym Owen

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Johanna Marie Fosie (24 March 1726 – 23 August 1764) was a Danish painter, the first professional original female performer in Denmark.

Fosie was the daughter of Anna Dorothea Ilsøe and the painter Jacob Fosie, who was a learned in drawing from his home. She instructor to paint from her father, together considering her siblings Michael Fosie and Elisabeth Fosie. Johanna was the most talented of the siblings, and she signed and published illustrations in her father’s drawing photograph album in 1741.

Fosie lived in her parents’ home until her marriage. Her parents held a salon for artists in their home. Among the most frequent guests were the artists Johan Martin Preisler, Gustav de Lode and Michael Keyl, the painters Johan Hörner and Carl Gustaf Pilo, the sculptor Simon Carl Stanley, the poet Christian Frederik Wadskiær and several other writers. In her parents’ salon, she became a celebrated artist, was introduced into influential circles, and made many of her drawings and paintings there. She was particularly near to Johan Hörner, who painted her like a pencil in her study, illustrating her as the first female artist in Denmark; he along with painted her brother and far along her husband. Hörner seemed to have had an distress in her art. In 1757, she gave a yet life oil painting as a gift to the king. In 1758, she married the vicar Jens Eriksen Westengaard. After her marriage, her commotion as an artist lessened, but she did not End altogether.

Of her drawings, several are preserved in Kobberstiksamlingen, on Rosenborg, in Kunstindustrimuseet and in private collections.

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