Anton Melbye was the oldest of the three Melbye painter brothers. Born in Copenhagen, he gained experience of ships from working in a shipbuilding yard before becoming a pupil of Christoffer-Wilhelm Eckersberg. He exhibited at Charlottenborg, near Copenhagen, 1840, and was soon enjoying the patronage of Christian VII of Denmark. In 1847 Melbye moved to Paris where he was to enjoy the patronage of Louis-Philippe and later Napoleon III. Melbye died in Paris in 1875.