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Anders Zorn: Sweden's Master Painter

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Accompanying a major retrospective of Anders Zorn’s work, this is the first volume in English to explore the Swedish Impressionist’s entire career in depth. Anders Zorn (1860–1920) is one of Sweden’s most accomplished and beloved artists. Renowned for his light, expressive watercolors, he attained mastery of the genre at an early age and later applied his techniques to oil Accompanying a major retrospective of Anders Zorn’s work, this is the first volume in English to explore the Swedish Impressionist’s entire career in depth. Anders Zorn (1860–1920) is one of Sweden’s most accomplished and beloved artists. Renowned for his light, expressive watercolors, he attained mastery of the genre at an early age and later applied his techniques to oil painting. Zorn is often compared with the artists John Singer Sargent and Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, contemporaries who also were known for their portraits of high-society figures. Taking up residence in London and then in Paris, Zorn established himself as an international portrait painter, depicting fashionable clients in a style both elegant and relaxed. He became a favorite among wealthy American collectors, bankers, and industrialists who sat for him, including art collector Isabella Stewart Gardner and three U.S. presidents. Although perhaps best known for his portraits, Zorn brought equal skill to painting genre scenes and views of nature. This handsome volume provides a thorough introduction to the artist and his works, from portraiture to landscapes and his famous nudes. Four illustrated essays are accompanied by a chronology, selected bibliography, an exhibition checklist, and an index.


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Accompanying a major retrospective of Anders Zorn’s work, this is the first volume in English to explore the Swedish Impressionist’s entire career in depth. Anders Zorn (1860–1920) is one of Sweden’s most accomplished and beloved artists. Renowned for his light, expressive watercolors, he attained mastery of the genre at an early age and later applied his techniques to oil Accompanying a major retrospective of Anders Zorn’s work, this is the first volume in English to explore the Swedish Impressionist’s entire career in depth. Anders Zorn (1860–1920) is one of Sweden’s most accomplished and beloved artists. Renowned for his light, expressive watercolors, he attained mastery of the genre at an early age and later applied his techniques to oil painting. Zorn is often compared with the artists John Singer Sargent and Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, contemporaries who also were known for their portraits of high-society figures. Taking up residence in London and then in Paris, Zorn established himself as an international portrait painter, depicting fashionable clients in a style both elegant and relaxed. He became a favorite among wealthy American collectors, bankers, and industrialists who sat for him, including art collector Isabella Stewart Gardner and three U.S. presidents. Although perhaps best known for his portraits, Zorn brought equal skill to painting genre scenes and views of nature. This handsome volume provides a thorough introduction to the artist and his works, from portraiture to landscapes and his famous nudes. Four illustrated essays are accompanied by a chronology, selected bibliography, an exhibition checklist, and an index.

30 review for Anders Zorn: Sweden's Master Painter

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Anders Zorn is an artist close to my heart who has followed me from early childhood. He grew up in Dalarna, a Swedish landscape with strong folklorist traditions, deep forests, glittering lakes and conservative rural villages and small towns. I lived there myself as a child, learned to speak the typical dialect, and to appreciate the special smell, touch and feel of a world apart, remote and wild and proud of its heritage. Zorn left his childhood surroundings behind to enter the stage of internat Anders Zorn is an artist close to my heart who has followed me from early childhood. He grew up in Dalarna, a Swedish landscape with strong folklorist traditions, deep forests, glittering lakes and conservative rural villages and small towns. I lived there myself as a child, learned to speak the typical dialect, and to appreciate the special smell, touch and feel of a world apart, remote and wild and proud of its heritage. Zorn left his childhood surroundings behind to enter the stage of international art and social life (marrying a progressive, strong and independent woman opened the door to Stockholm's peculiar environment), and his adaptability and incredible artistic talent soon made him move with ease in the most diverse surroundings. His first artistic successes were based on his watercolour technique, which he used to capture the everyday scenes in his artistic environment and on his extensive travels, always using colour and setting to create an intimate, direct relationship to the models or objects he chose to present. Celebrating success at home was not enough for his ambitious, driven personality, and Zorn launched a career in London, Paris, and most notably in the United States, where he made a fortune as a portrait painter. The power of facial expression, posture and colour is equally effective when painting American socialites - from a "Dalkulla" in the Swedish forest to a lady in the new world, just a brush stroke's journey. Being an outgoing, career oriented artist, Zorn also faced criticism, especially at home, and his nudes painted in nature were not always easy to stomach in the official, prudish Swedish society either. Zorn openly celebrated sensuality without hiding it within mythological or religious narratives. His bad temper and impatience brought him trouble on numerous occasions as well. He lived an intensive life and burned the candle at both ends. Like his friend and contemporary Carl Larsson, he built a refuge for himself and his wife in his native Dalarna, and settled in Mora, a traditional small town at the shores of Lake Siljan. His home still hosts his collections, and a considerable number of his own works. To reach the Zorn Museum from any of the bigger Swedish cities, a visitor has to travel for hours through the forests that shaped Zorn's eye for colour and form, and for natural beauty. At the end of his career, already marked by illness, Zorn painted a self portrait in his favoured colour red, showing the man of the world, with life written into his tired facial expression, standing in a typical room indicating the wooden structures of an old-fashioned log cabin. The internationally acclaimed artist returns to his origins. No regrets, it seems to say. "I did it my way!" As I was walking along the streets of Stockholm the other day, I came across a small but well-planned exhibition of Zorn's work, and spontaneously walked in. The paintings and etchings exhibited were mostly borrowed from the Nationalmuseum, and from Zorngården in Mora. The catalogue on offer, however, was from an international exhibition a couple of years back in San Francisco, which of course makes sense. It is in English, and constitutes an adequate summary of Zorn's life and work and cosmopolitan adaptability, thus becoming a symbol of the artist's balance between rural Swedish roots and globetrotting life at the turn of the century, a bridge between the different facets of his life. Coming home, I read the catalogue from cover to cover, lingering on the different paintings I have seen in so many different museums and exhibitions over the course of the decades. And I thought I'd make a case for Zorn's art! He's just so incredibly ALIVE still!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Parker

    Great text, beautiful color plates.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Thorlakur

    An excellent catalogue on the works of the Swedish master painter Anders Zorn. Zorn was a hedonist and a bon vivant, completely lacking in modesty and always willing to associate with the great and the good. His portraits from his time in America are a superb documentation of The Gilded Age.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Loved reading this- such a balanced approach to the life of a master. Wish every reference could have been included, but the full page plates of Zorn's works were a delight. Loved reading this- such a balanced approach to the life of a master. Wish every reference could have been included, but the full page plates of Zorn's works were a delight.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sheree

    Gorgeous, just gorgeous. A high quality art book with vibrant images. I leave this copy on my coffee table to be enjoyed whenever I have a free moment.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

  7. 4 out of 5

    Stefan

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elisefur

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jazz

  10. 4 out of 5

    Caroline H Gantz

  11. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Monk

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mary Vardell

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stephen J Gallivan

  14. 4 out of 5

    J

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anne Feduk

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lswinakur

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dinah Steveni

  18. 5 out of 5

    Leon

  19. 4 out of 5

    Commander Law

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nora Gardner

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rosalie Vaccaro

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Castleman

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kae

  24. 5 out of 5

    James P Fletcher

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

  26. 4 out of 5

    Robert Fuschini

  27. 4 out of 5

    erica

  28. 4 out of 5

    Timothy

  29. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Sinclair

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brian

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