BIRGER, Hugo
(b. 1854, Stockholm, d. 1887, Helsingborg)

Biography

Hugo Birger (born Hugo Birger Petterson), Swedish painter. He studied at the Konstakademi in Stockholm from 1871 to 1877. In 1877 he went to Paris and then spent the summer of 1878 at Barbizon with Carl Larsson, among others. There he painted several spontaneous plein-air paintings, such as Rue Gabrielle (1879; Kunstmuseum, Gothenburg), in which the grey tones are contrasted realistically with exquisite colours. He also painted scenes of Parisian life, such as The Toilette (1880; two sketches in Nationalmuseum, Stockholm), which aroused the interest of his contemporaries when it was exhibited at the Salon that year.

Birger's art was always conventional in style, allied to French salon painting. He was a master of technique and a brilliant subject painter, creating such scenes as In the Bower (c. 1880; Nationalmuseum, Stockholm).

In 1881-85 he traveled in Spain and Morocco; these experiences were transformed into the light-filled atmosphere of his paintings. He executed numerous works in a style accessible to popular taste.