Jacob Hägg (1839-1931)
Jacob (Jacques) Hägg was a Swedish naval officer and naval painter . He was born at Katthamra Farm in Östergarn on Gotland, but lived most of his life in Stockholm and Karlskrona. He was the son of the wood merchant Axel Hägg and his wife Anna Margaretha, born Lindström, and had a brother Axel Herman Hägg. Jacob Hägg married Karlskrona in 1869 with Ellen Tellander, daughter of Major Frans August Tellander, and in 1870 the son Erik was born, followed by Herman 1884. They also had the daughter Ella.
Jacob Hägg was a professional within the fleet. After training at the Royal Swedish Academy of Law, he was appointed submarine officer in 1863. As a young naval officer, he participated in several long journeys to foreign waters, including the frigate Vanadis and the corvettes Josephine and Gefle.
During the period 1874-1884 he was partly employed in the Sjökart estate and worked on seagoing and charting. When he returned to the fleet later, he created a foundation for the first secret military system in Sweden. Jacob Hägg was head of the Royal Swedish Academy of Laws 1890-1895, commander of Stockholm’s military station 1896-1899, as well as commanding officer and station manager in Karlskrona from 1900 to 1904. He left active employment in 1904 and reached the degree of admiral (nominated in 1899).
1907-1927, Jacob Hägg was the head of the Swedish Maritime History Collections, the reason for what later became the Museum of Maritime History. During that period, he made important efforts to preserve a large number of older vessel models from the fleet.
He started painting around 1860. The last oil painting was completed in 1929 when Jacob Hägg was 90 years old. Son Erik has estimated production for about 700 oil paintings and watercolors (excluding minor sketches), 25 etchings and at least 1600 paintings and drawings. Jacob Hägg is considered to be one of the most important marine painters in Sweden. When serving the fleet, he spent free time on nautical archaeology and portraying the marine environment. His drawings, etchings and paintings were preceded by careful investigations to get all the details right. Hägg’s paintings are represented at the National Museum in Stockholm and Gothenburg Art Museum.
Jacob Hägg died in the Hedvig Eleonora church in Stockholm, after which the coffin was transported by Drotten to Visby to be buried at Östergarns cemetery.