Earle Backen

Earle Backen

Last updated September 12, 2012


Earle Backen (1927 – 2005) was one of the most respected painters in Sydney. He was a wonderful teacher and inspired many younger artists.

This is especially true in the field of printmaking as he was largely responsible for introducing and teaching modern printmaking techniques to a younger generation. Backen was well trained in art having studied with Antonio Dattilo Rubbo and then with John Passmore at the Julian Ashton Art School.

He won the 1954 NSW Travelling Scholarship and travelled to London where he made contact with Roi de Maistre and also John Passmore's friend Keith Vaughan with whom he studied at the Central School. In Paris, at the famous Atelier 17 run by S.W. Hayter, Backen learned the techniques of printmaking and he developed a special love for French art and the French lifestyle.

Earle Backen exhibited regularly, although painting and drawing took over from his printmaking when he retired from teaching. He was a brilliant watercolourist, a medium that perhaps he has not used as often as his many admirers would have liked.

His contribution to art and teaching has been acknowledged with the award of the order of Australia (AM); The Silver Pencil from the 'Pens and Pencils' group and numerous art prizes including the Kedumba Drawing Award.

Still Life with Landscape
Donated by BMGS Catering Group 1992.

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