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Harriet Backer’s Chez Moi

I saw this painting in a lovely art gallery in Tromsø: Chez Moi by Harriet Backer, painted in 1887. Throughout her life, Backer (1845-1932) painted pianists at play.

Harriet Backer painted the domestic and serene, and, despite lengthy study and stay in Europe, remained robustly Norwegian and belonged to no school of painting; her technique is described as “both slow and thorough.” (She taught novelist Cora Sandel, whose paintings were also in the gallery.)

Backer accompanied her sister, Agathe Backer Grøndahl, a celebrated local concert pianist and composer, on her European tours. Grøndahl was praised excessively by many (including George Bernard Shaw when she visited England) and made her name as a champion of Grieg. Her career was halted by nerves and deafness by the age of fifty. Her compositions are unremarkable but charming, and like her sister’s paintings, they display unfussy beauty. Modesty is so beautiful.

Here are more of her paintings of pianists:


One comment on “
Harriet Backer’s Chez Moi

  1. aideen reid
    10th November 2020

    wonderfully calm gentle works. Llatest with strong change of style. Couldnt one live so peacefully with these.

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This entry was posted on 11th August 2020 by in Uncategorized.