Beck was born in Stockholm, Sweden, the daughter of Franz Beck, a bookkeeper. She studied at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts(1872–78) and then at the Académie Julian in Paris (1883–84), where her teachers included Léon Bonnat and Jean-Léon Gérôme. Afterwards, she settled in France, where she was to spend most of the rest of her life. For a time she rented a studio in Paris with Harriet Backer, Hildegard Thorell, and Anna Munthe-Norstedt, and she also spent time at the Grez-sur-Loing art colony.
As a professional artist, she specialized in portraits for financial reasons, and she was one of the few Swedish women artists of her generation able to support herself through her art. However, her preferred genre was landscape, and she became known for atmospheric Impressionist landscapes painted in a somewhat muted palette.
She died in Vaucresson, France. Her work is in the collection of museums including the Swedish National Museum. A retrospective of her work was mounted in 2012-13 by the Zorn Museum in Mora, Sweden, and traveled to Sven-Harry's Art Museum in Stockholm.
Media related to Julia Beck at Wikimedia Commons
- Swedish Encyclopedia, Malmö, 1939.
- Elgán, Elisabeth, and Irene Scobbie. Historical Dictionary of Sweden, 3rd ed. Rowman & Littlefield, 2015, p. 34.
- Gaze, Delia, ed. Dictionary of Women Artists: Artists, A-I. Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997, p. 208.
- "Julia Beck". Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum website. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
- National Encyclopedia, CD, 2000.