The family moved back to Copenhagen where he entered the architecture school of the Royal Danish Academy of Art at 12 years of age, but he changed his course to painting at the age of 21. He studied under Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg. In the late 1820s both his parents died of typhoid and he had to support his remaining family, taking over some of his father's commissions.
Et selskap af danske kunstnere i Rom (A group of Danish Artists in Rome) (1837)
From 1835 until 1838 he travelled through Germany and Italy with some other Danish artists, Roed, Købke and Hilker, eventually staying in Italy for eight years. Returning to Denmark he worked on many mythological paintings; producing frescos for the University of Copenhagen with Hilker and also producing works for Roskilde Cathedral.
He died in 1880.