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Anders Zorn

Born in: 1860

Sweden

Biography

Translation in progress

Anders Zorn (1860-1920) was recognized early as one of Sweden's foremost artists. No techniques was alien to him, he worked just as well with water colors as in oil. Although the etching technique came to attract him and the etchings was a major contribution to his success. With Rembrandt as a role model, he developed a technique where he dashes with bursts to build up the motif. The first etching was created in London in 1883. Axel Herman Hägg, then based in London, was Zorn's teacher in this technique. Zorn quickly learned the technique and a united expertise could soon find that Rembrandt now had got his equal.

Zorn was born in Yvraden, a hamlet in the village of Utmeland in the parish of Mora, Dalarna, and was raised on his grandparents' farm in Yvraden. He studied at the age of twelve in the school at Mora Strand before progressing during the autumn of 1872 to a secondary grammar school in Enköping.

From 1875–1880 Zorn studied at Royal Swedish Academy of Arts in Stockholm, Sweden. He traveled extensively to London, Paris, the Balkans, Spain, Italy and the United States, becoming an international success as one of the most acclaimed painters of his era. While his early works were often brilliant, luminous watercolors, by 1887 he had switched firmly to oils. Zorn painted portraits, scenes depicting rustic life and customs. Zorn is also famous for his nude paintings and realistic depictions of water.

It was primarily his skill as a portrait painter that gained Zorn international acclaim based principally upon his incisive ability to depict the individual character of his model. His subjects included three American Presidents, one of whom was Grover Cleveland in 1899. At 29, he was made Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur at the Exposition Universelle 1889 Paris World Fair

While his early works were often brilliant, luminous watercolors, by 1887 he had switched firmly to oils. Zorn was a prolific artist. He became an international success as one of the most acclaimed portrait painters of his era. His sitters included three American Presidents, nobility, the Swedish king and queen and numerous members of high society. Zorn also painted portraits of family members, friends, and self-portraits. Zorn is also famous for his nude paintings. His fondness of painting full-figured women gave rise to the terms Zorn's kulla or dalakulla, an unmarried woman or girl from Dalecarlia, as the women were called in the local dialect of the region Zorn lived.

The paintings have the freedom and energy of sketches, using warm and cool light and shade areas with contrasting areas of warm and cool tones, and an understanding of colour contrasts and reflected lights. Zorn's accomplished use of the brush allows the forms and the texture of the painted subject to reflect and transmit light. In addition to portraits and nudes, Zorn excelled in realistic depictions of water, as well as scenes depicting rustic life and customs.

Zorn's art made him wealthy and he was thus able to build up a considerable collection of art. The objects were not only bought in his native country but also during the many travels he made abroad. In their joint will, Anders and Emma Zorn donated their entire holdings to the Swedish State.

Some of his most important works can be seen at the National Museum of Fine Arts (Swedish:Nationalmuseum) in Stockholm. Among them is Midsummer Dance (1897), a depiction of dancers in the evening light of a rural Midsummer Eve celebration. Other museums holding major works by Zorn include the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The Zorn Collections (Swedish:Zornsamlingarna) located in Mora and Garberg, Älvdalen, consist of four museums dedicated to the life and works of Anders Zorn. The main museum - Zornmuseet - was designed by Ragnar Östberg and opened in 1939. Shown there, are extensive works of Zorn and his collected art by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, 'The Hovingham Master' (Poussin's follower), Bruno Liljefors, Albert Edelfelt, and Pehr Hilleström. The Bellman Prize (Bellmanpriset) is a literature prize for "an outstanding Swedish poet", every year awarded by the Swedish Academy. The prize was established by Anders Zorn and his wife Emma in 1920.

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Anders Zorn, The Ford, Print

Anders Zorn

The Ford, 1912
20 x 15 cm
Print

€2 000

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