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date: 20 August 2019

Backer, Harrietlocked

(b Holmestrand, Jan 21, 1845; d Oslo, March 25, 1932).
  • Marit Lange
  •  and Thea Miller

Extract

(b Holmestrand, Jan 21, 1845; d Oslo, March 25, 1932).

Norwegian painter . In the 1860s and early 1870s she took lessons in drawing and painting in Christiania (now Oslo) and also travelled extensively in Europe with her sister Agathe, a composer and pianist. She copied works in major museums and took occasional art lessons; she later considered this experience to have been of fundamental importance to her artistic development. Little Red Riding Hood (1872; Oslo, N.G.) is impressive in technique, and the early portrait of her sister, Agathe Backer-Grøndahl (1874; Holmestrand, Komm.), shows a refined colour scheme. At the age of nearly 30 Backer decided to train professionally as a painter and in 1874 went to Munich. She was never attached to a particular institution, but the influence of her friend the artist Eilif Peterssen was crucial to her development. In Munich she made a thorough study of perspective, which formed a secure basis for her later work. The work she did while in Munich reflects a study of the Old Masters in museums and is characterized by a preference for the historical subjects typical of the Munich school, as well as by an interest in the psychological portrait (e.g. ...

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Norsk kunstnerleksikon, 4 vols (Oslo, 1982)