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Big Brother Playing by Harriet Backer

    Big Brother Playing by Harriet Backer

    Big Brother Playing by Harriet Backer was created in 1890. The painting is in Göteborgs Konstmuseum. The size of the work is 50,5 x 61,5 cm and is made as an oil on canvas.

    Not only sister Agathe was musical in the Backer family; Sister Inge trained in singing in Berlin, but had to put her career aside when she got married. It is Inge’s son Johan Lunde, a future composer, who we see in the Art Museum’s image performed in Risør in 1890. It is one of the first interior pictures, where Harriet Backer instead of allowing the daylight to fall into the room utilizes artificial light; It is the pale lights of the piano lamps that light up the room, while the darkness is close outside the window. To reach the keyboard, Johan sits on a pile of thick books. On top of the piano, on a trave note sheet, lies a violin and also testifies to the Lunde family’s musical interests. Johan’s little sister stands still and admiring and listens to his brother’s game.

    About the Artist: Norwegian painter Harriet Backer was born in Holmestrand. At 12, she first took lessons in drawing and painting, notably with Joachim Calmeyer (1857). She studied with art instructor Johan Fredrik Eckersberg (1861–65), in Berlin with Alphons Holländer (1866–1867), with artist Christen Brun (1867–1868) and attended the painting school of Knud Bergslien (1871–74). She was a student of Léon Bonnat and Jean-Léon Gérôme in Paris (1878–1780)… Read more


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