Anders Zorn was a Swedish artist who worked as a painter, graphic artist and sculptor. He first wanted to become a sculptor, but quickly switched to watercolor painting when he studied at the Art Academy in Stockholm between 1875 and 1881. On trips to more southern regions in the 1880s, he created a series of watercolors that were filled with light and valor (Sigøynersmie in 1885 and In the harbor of Algiers in 1887). He also painted many motifs from his homeland, sometimes with realistic details (Our Daily Bread in 1886) and other times with a focus on light effects and reflections (Bølgeskvulp in 1887).
In 1887 he started painting with oil colours. Zorn's strong attachment to his hometown and his interest in popular cultural values are expressed in paintings such as Church Procession in Mora and Bread Baking from 1889, and especially Midsummer Dance from 1897, which is painted with a broad, impressionistic brush. A summer stay at Dalarö in the Stockholm archipelago in 1887 introduced him to his most popular subject circle, blonde, luminous female nudes against a background of fresh grass, sparkling sea and red and gray crags (Summer in 1887, Une première and Ute in 1888, In the archipelago (National Museum) and Frileuse in 1894).
Zorn was also a skilled portrait painter with the ability to capture characteristic situations or movements (Coquelin Cadet in 1889 and En skål i Idun in 1892), and he soon gained international fame and was showered with commissions. He had many admirers in the United States, including Isabella Stewart Gardner whom he portrayed in 1894.
Zorn's etchings, which often took up motifs from his paintings, are technically outstanding, and among his sculptures Nymfe og faun (1895) perhaps stands first. In Mora stands his statue of Gustav Vasa (1903), and in front of the Art Academy in Stockholm is his fountain figure Morgenbad (1907).
Zorn's burning interest in his hometown and cultural heritage is expressed through his extensive collecting activities, which form the basis of the Zorn Museum in Mora (opened in 1939). He was also a mesén and established, among other things, a community college in Mora in 1907. His autobiographical notes were published in 1982.
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