Ditlev Blunck was born in 1798 in Münsterdorf in Holstein, at that time a duchy with a largely German-speaking populace ruled by Denmark. In 1814 he began his studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Art in Copenhagen as a student of C.A. Lorentzen and C.W. Eckersberg. He was trained concurrently with fellow students Wilhelm Bendz, Ernst Meyer, and Albert Küchler. Presumably dissatisfied with the Danish Academy, Blunck moved in 1818 to Munich and enrolled at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. He studied in Bavaria for two years before returning to Copenhagen. In 1841, he was expelled from Denmark due to homosexual acts. As a result, he left the country, and he even took up arms against Denmark in the First Schleswig War (1848-1852). Despite being persona non grata in Denmark, he was commissioned by King Christian VIII of Denmark to paint the four-part cycle "The Ages of Man" for the Royal Painting Collection.