Jacob Adriaensz Backer
Jacob Adriaensz Backer (1609 –27 August 1651) was a Dutch Golden Age painter. He produced about 140 paintings in twenty years. In his style he was influenced by Wybrand de Geest, Rubens and Abraham Bloemaert. Also his drawings (male and female nudes) are highly interesting and skilful. He never painted a town or landscape.
Backer was born in Harlingen, Netherlands, but his father moved in 1611 to Amsterdam, after his wife died. The family lived on Nieuwendijk near the harbour. Between 1627 and 1633 he and Govert Flinck, both Mennonites, were pupils of Lambert Jacobsz in Leeuwarden, a mennonite teacher, father of Abraham Lambertsz van den Tempel, painter of religious work, and after moving to Amsterdam, a neighbor. In 1633 Backer returned to Amsterdam, and probably worked for Hendrick Uylenburgh. Backer never married, never bought a house, and might have lived with his brother or nephew Adriaen Backer, who also became a portrait painter. He died in Amsterdam, in his early forties.
His extreme quickness in painting portraits has been particularly noticed, and Joachim von Sandrart wrote in his Teutsche Academie that a woman came from Haarlem and went home the same day, in which short period of time her portrait, cuffs, fur, collar, together with the rest of her dress and both hands, was handsomely completed in a life-sized half-length. This remark refers both to the success of the wet-in-wet technique practised in the Netherlands at that time, as well as the fact that the trekschuit, which was a new invention in 1632, allowed regular comfortable transport between Haarlem and Amsterdam and made such trips to portrait painters possible.
Besides being an important portrait painter - some 70 portraits can be attributed to him with certainty - Backer was an excellent painter of religious and mythological paintings. He was especially interested in pastoral subjects, themes from contemporary history, like Granida and Dafilo, and the huge Crowning of Mirtillo from 1641 in the Brukenthal National Museum in Sibiu (250 x 250 cm.). The painting with the schutterij, Company of Cornelis de Graeff, for years on the same wall as Rembrandt's Night Watch, is in the Rijksmuseum. Backer was one of the best in painting hands and feet. In fact, he was a leading artist in Amsterdam until his premature death in 1651. He was buried in the Noorderkerk.
In the Rembrandthuis can now be seen the first exhibition ever on Backer.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jacob Adriaensz. Backer.|
- Quote from Backer biography in the Teutsche Academie
- He completely finished, in one day, the half length portrait of a lady in full dress, even so early, that she was able to return the same day back to Haarlem with the painting; cited 50 years later in (Dutch) Jakob Bakker biography in De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen (1718) by Arnold Houbraken, courtesy of the Digital library for Dutch literature
- Peter van den Brink et al. (2008) Jacob Backer (1608/9-1651).
- Walter Liedtke (2007) Dutch paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- Rose, Hugh James (1857). A New General Biographical Dictionary, London: B. Fellowes et al.
There is a painting by this painter in the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum in Kansas City,Missouri("Portrait of A Lady").There is also a portrait by Jacob Backer in the Museum of Amcient Art in Lisbon,Portugal("Courtesan").
- Jacob Backer - The great virtuoso
- Paintings by Jacob Backer in the Rijksmuseum
- Jacob Adriansz Backer on Artnet
- Works and literature at PubHist