The Berlin born artist, who was an apprentice of Antoine Pesne, is recorded to have been active as a court painter for Duke Adolf Friedrich IV of Mecklenburg-Strelitz from 1752 until 1794 (Catalogue Schwerin 1954, p.49) and was praised for his rendering of costumes and precious materials (H. Baudis in 1000 Jahre Mecklenburg, Landesausstellung Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, exhibition catalogue, Schloss Güstrow, 25 June-15 October 1995, p.318). By appointing Woge, whose style reflects the influence of Vigée le Brun, Adolf Friedrich IV proved his awareness of the latest style of portraiture in France.
For the identification of the sitter, compare the picture attributed to Daniel Woge of circa 1760, oil on canvas, 137 x 100 cm, in the Staatliches Museum Schwerin (H. Baudis, op. cit., pp. 318/9, no6.2, ill.) and with the picture, showing the sitter with his two sisters, attributed to Daniel Woge of circa 1760, oil on canvas, 65.5 x 83.5 cm, in the Staatliches Museen Schwerin (H. Baudis, op.cit, p. 325, no6.14, ill.). His chief accomplishments as Duke were his abolition of corporal punishment, his provision of health care and the establishment of a social security system (H. Baudis, op.cit, p. 319).
See colour illustration