Educated at the Royal academy in 1887, where he studied under C.N Overgaard, Adolph Kittendorff and Fr. Vermehren. Later he attended the artists study school where he was a pupil of P.S Kroyer and L. Tuxen. Bonnesen worked primarily with landscapes and was much known for the special lights found in his works. Bonnesen often worked at nights depicturing the long Scandinavian summer evenings or on early morning winter views. Bonnesen was in particular fascinated by capturing a certain mood or sensation and is best described as an atmosphere artist. Bonnesen worked and traveled in Florence from 1896, later in Spain from 1903 and Germany from 1921-1922.
The artists fall exhibition: 1904-1908.
Danish Modern artists. Brighton, England: 1912.
Artists of Dyrehaven: 1916-1927.
The art union: 1921-1942.