Jacob Backer (Biographical details)

Jacob Backer (painter/draughtsman; Dutch; Male; 1608 - 1651)

Also known as

Backer, Jacob Adriaensz; Adriaensz Bakker, Jacob


History and portrait painter. Born in Harlingen, Backer studied in Leeuwarden in c.1625-7 under his fellow-Mennonite, Lambert Jacobsz., where Govert Flinck (q.v.) was a pupil at the same time. From 1633, when Backer moved to Amsterdam, his work betrays the influence of Rembrandt, although it is very doubtful whether he was ever active in Rembrandt's workshop, either as a pupil or assistant. In 1638 he drew his Self-Portrait when in Flushing (Vlissingen; the drawing is in the Albertina, Vienna [Sumowski 4]). From the 1640s he was inspired by artists such as Bartholomeus van der Helst, and enjoyed considerable success in Amsterdam, where he died aged only 42.
Dated works by Backer are rare and his chronology, especially as a draughtsman, is difficult to reconstruct. His drawings in chalk on blue paper are stylistically close to those by Flinck. The drawings are mostly single figure studies.