A member of the Hamburger Secession group of painters, her work shows expressionist, fauvist and cubist tendencies significant to the group and presenting a challenge at the time to the established Hamburg artist clubs which were mainly oriented toward Impressionism.
Born in Hamburg in 1862, Alma del Banco came from an upper class Portuguese-Jewish merchant family. She and her two sisters were brought up as Christians. She received artist training from Ernst Eitner at the Valeska Röver private art school in Hamburg. She then continued her studies in Paris under Fernand Leger, Jacques Simon and André l'Hote.
She undertook several study journeys to France, Italy and Sicily, and later to Yugoslavia, Romania and Dalmatia
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