This German marine painter, the son of marine painter Lorenz Petersen, was born in Altona, Germany in 1834. He is known to have emulated his father's artistic style at a young age, and painted primarily ship portraits for most of his career. With his father's passing in 1870, he soon took up his place painting alongside German artist Peter Holm, his uncle, as his father had for years.
Specializing in colorful ship portraits that are noted for their crispness and detail, Petersen also developed a talent for painting coastal and harbor elements, capturing the important local background details. His works show a talent for fine composition and balance as well as an in-depth knowledge of ship handling and sail trim.
From his life-long home in Altona, he traveled often to hamburg to paint with his uncle, where many of their works were directly commissioned by the owners and captains of the merchant ships. Whether working solo or in collaboration, his portraits were accurate representations of fine artistic characteristics.