Educated at the Royal Art Academy at Copenhagen in 1831. Studied at a German art school in 1842. Pupil of C.W. Eckersberg, J.L. Lund and J.P Møller. Petersen mostly worked on landscapes and did a series of landscapes in 1850 with animals and open hunting scenes. In his earlier years he worked primarily on portraits and still-life paintings. The works of Petersen are known for their impressive details and their effective compositions. Later Petersen worked as a conservator and became the head of the Royal art collection.
Charlottenborg: 1845-52, 1854-57, 1860.
The Collection of Johan Hansen: 1845.
Frederiksborg Museum of Art: 1853