Alexander Hugo Bakker Korff was born in The Hague in 1824 and attended classes at the Academy of The Hague and Antwerp from 1844, before settling in Leiden in 1856. Initially he painted biblical and mythological scenes in a romantic classicist style, but in 1859 he switched to a different genre. He leaves the historical genre, breaks with academic conventions and is skilled in portraying intimate interiors of the noble 19th-century Leiden families in the atmosphere of Hildebrands Camera Obscura. He paints small paintings in an extremely precise style with homely scenes in which the subject was 'human comedy'. His posh, unmarried sisters, with whom he lived, modeled for this. Usually the ladies were dressed in dated 18th century clothing, of which Bakker Korff had a whole collection in his studio. Surrounded by all kinds of bric-à-brac in an overcrowded Biedermeier interior, he performed their lives and established habits. Always with humor and light irony, which he captured in witty titles such as 'The aunts go on a journey', A cup of broth and a glass of port 'or' La politique au déjeuner. Not only because of the technically refined style, but also because of the irony, the painter's work quickly became very popular and many 'Bakker Korffje' found his way to art-buying audiences at home and abroad.
Bakker Korff must have had great admiration for the 17th-century fine painters Gerard Dou and Gabriël Metsu who worked in his hometown of Leiden. Like his predecessors, Bakker Korff paid much attention to the expression of the material in his paintings; he perfectly reproduced silk and velvet, glass, copper and porcelain clothing. His paintings, usually no larger than an A4 sheet, are colorful and balanced in their composition. That he worked in such a small format was sometimes associated with myopia, but at least it met the taste of the audience. Incidentally, Bakker Korff also sometimes worked on photos, but this was not something he went for sale with.
It was these kinds of paintings that a contemporary in the 'Kunstkronijk' remarked: 'The depiction is so taken from life that we are tempted to dream of a history with it.' Panels of such a 'large' size and so on. a wealth of figures and details are very rarely in circulation.
Bakker Korff was a member of The Hague Pulchri Studio and was awarded the Leopold Order after a very successful exhibition in Brussels. He taught among others Fredericus Jacobus van Rossum du Chattel and Jan Jacob Zuidema Broos. The painter died in 1882. In the necrology of Bakker Korff in De Nederlandsche Spectator, literary scholar Carel Vosmaer writes: 'He never declined to the lowly comedic, caricature and sharp mockery did not proceed. The banter always remains with him of good houses, and mildly with heart.'