Artist
Anders Zorn
Swedish painter and engraver

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Anders Zorn
Swedish painter and engraver
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Date of Birth

February 18, 1860

Date of Death

August 22, 1920

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ldare's picture

Sr. Editor

Refamiliarize yourself with Anders Zorn the most popular painter of the late 19th and early 20th-century.

Zorn was super popular during what is known as La Belle Époque in France and the Gilded Age in America, from approximately 1871 to the start of WWI in 1914. Someone else working at this time is the much more well known (at least in the States) John Singer Sargent, which might just explain how Zorn got pushed to the backburner.

 

As the bastard son of working class parents, Zorn didn’t start out so great. He never met his father, Leonhard Zorn, a German brewer his mother met when she was traveling. Since his mother would go city-to-city looking for work, his grandparents raised him and was admitted to the Royal Academy of Art in Stockholm at 15.

 

In 1881, Zorn met his wife Emma who came from money. Fortunately, (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) they both realized that marriage would be completely impossible until Zorn could make a living that would support Emma in the fashion she was used to. Their romance no doubt helped him enter high society circles where he was able to make his fortune painting the rich and famous. Emma and Anders were married four years later and settled in France.

 

Zorn was picked to head up the Swedish booth at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago and so began his lifelong affair with America. He visited no less than six times and always stayed for at least a year. He’s noted for doing three American Presidents’ portraits (Grover Cleveland, William Taft, and Theodore Roosevelt) that brought his name to the attention of American high society.

 

Emma and Anders loved their native Sweden and were extremely philanthropic. Emma created a library, traditional crafts organization, children’s home, and a high school. Anders was obsessed with the traditions of Sweden and established a competition for folk music. He designed and created the Zorn Badge (Zornmärket in Swedish) which is still the highest award one can receive for folk crafts in Sweden.

 

Anders predeceased his wife by 20 years and she spent that time collecting the art her husband had sold off for an Anders Zorn Museum opening in 1939 in addition to maintaining her philanthropic efforts. Their estate, Zorngården, is also located on the grounds of the museum … or rather the museum is located on the grounds of their estate.

 

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Anders Zorn

Anders Leonard Zorn (18 February 1860 – 22 August 1920) was one of Sweden's foremost artists. He obtained international success as a painter, sculptor, and etcher.

Among Zorn's portrait subjects were King Oscar II of Sweden, and three American Presidents, Grover Cleveland, William H. Taft, and Theodore Roosevelt.

At the end of his life, he established the Swedish literary Bellman Prize in 1920.

Biography

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

From 1875 to 1880 Zorn studied at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts in Stockholm, where he amazed his teachers with his talent. Members of Stockholm society approached him with commissions. This was how Zorn met his wife, Emma Lamm, early in 1881. Her background was different from Zorn's. Coming from a wealthy Jewish merchant family, she was interested in art and culture. Zorn 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. 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, as well as his wife, along with William H. Taft and Theodore Roosevelt. At 29, he was made a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur at the Exposition Universelle 1889 Paris World Fair.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Anders Zorn.