Women Artists

Fanny Brate: A Forgotten Painter of Everyday Art

Gokce Dyson 4 December 2021 min Read

Fanny Brate was born in Stockholm in 1861. Showing great potential from a young age, she started taking drawing and painting classes when she was only ten years old. In 1885, at the age of 24, she received a Royal Medal for her painting Art Friends. Her visits to Paris heavily influenced her style of painting. However, for subjects, she always turned to her local community. Her genre paintings in an Impressionist style portray children in everyday life over the 19th and 20th centuries.

Early Life

Hildegard Thorell, Fanny Brate, 1918, private collection. Wikipedia.
Hildegard Thorell, Fanny Brate, 1918, private collection. Wikimedia Commons.

Fanny Ingeborg Matilda Brate was a Swedish painter. She was born and raised in a palace since her father was a clerk in the household of King Oscar II. Therefore, from the birth she was exposed to the finest examples of art in different mediums surrounding her.

Fanny Brate, Teasing Children, 1885, private collection. Wikipedia.
Fanny Brate, Teasing Children, 1885, private collection. Wikimedia Commons.

Artist in the Making

Fanny Brate, Summer- Three Girls Picking Flowers, 1895, private collection. Galphia.
Fanny Brate, Summer- Three Girls Picking Flowers, 1895, private collection. Galphia.

She studied at an all-girls school between 1868 and 1877. While studying, she was taking part-time painting classes at the Arts and Crafts School. Later on she became a full-time student there, until she began painting under the supervision of master Malmström at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts. In 1885, she received recognition when she was awarded a Royal Medal for her painting Art Friends.

Fanny Brate, Hide and Seek, 1896, private collection. Wikipedia.
Fanny Brate, Hide and Seek, 1896, private collection. Wikimedia Commons.

Her Style

Fanny Brate, Portrait of Astrid Brate, 1901, private collection. Art Renewal Center.
Fanny Brate, Portrait of Astrid Brate, 1901, private collection. Art Renewal Center.

In 1887, she went to Paris and studied for a term at an art school found by the Italian sculptor Filippo Colarossi. A travel scholarship from the Royal Academy also helped her attend. During her time in Paris, she visited many Impressionist exhibitions. Her later paintings show a direct influence of her time spent abroad. She continued to make study trips throughout Europe, including a visit to the Universal Exposition in 1889.

Her Legacy

Fanny Brate, A Day of Celebration, 1902, The National Museum, Stockholm, Sweden. Wikipedia.
Fanny Brate, A Day of Celebration, 1902, The National Museum, Stockholm, Sweden. Wikimedia Commons.

Although she painted many scenes featuring children in daily, outdoor activities, Fanny Brate became best known for her domestic interiors. For example, A Day of Celebration is her most widely recognized work and has been reproduced many times. On display at the National Museum in Stockholm, it depicts preparations for a name’s day party in a large room at the Brate family’s estate.

The painting, like many others, is bathed in sunlight. It reflects an idealized view of life, both in the countryside and at home.

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