“The Library of Thorvald Boeck” (1902) is by Harriet Backer (1845-1932), a Norwegian painter who was a pioneer among female artists both in the Nordic countries and in Europe. She is best known for detailed interior scenes, with rich colors and moody, atmospheric lighting.
Her subject here was a corner of the library of Olaf Thorvald Boeck (1835-1901), a Norwegian lawyer, civil servant and book collector, known for amassing the largest private library in Norway. The collection started with one book when he was 9 years old. In 1899, three years before his death, he sold 31,467 books to the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences in Trondheim , together with maps, letters, autographs and manuscripts, in order to keep the collection together.