Interior from Øvre Nanset

Harriet Backer
Harriet Backer, Interior from Øvre Nanset,


An airy room.  

Full of lush green plants.  

The plants grow high in a room with even higher ceilings.  

The large windows let in a cold, wintry light.  

The motif is unusual in several ways. The living room seen here is from Øvre Nanset in Larvik, on the western shore of the Oslo fjord.  

The room itself, was not in use in the winter, and was instead used as a cool storage space for plants that needed a break from the winter weather.  

Here Backer got to be alone with her subject. She could work undisturbed by the chores of the household.  

The plants are randomly placed and collected in this abandoned living room, and the green leaves create a wonderful green effect in the light that fills the room.  

The motif was advanced. Backer struggled with all the different green leaves that reflected the winter light in different ways. But, at the same time, the cold light reflections created a contrast to the warm textiles in yellow and red.  

Several contemporary landscape painters at this time were very interested in winter, and how to portray it. And here, Backer shows how the snowy Norwegian winter also affects the light and colors indoors.