Artist
Anders Zorn
Swedish painter and engraver

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Anders Zorn
Swedish painter and engraver
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Birth Date

February 18, 1860

Death Date

August 22, 1920

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, 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 able to get into 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 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 (Swedish pronunciation: [²anːdɛʂ ˈsoːɳ] (About this soundlisten); 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.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Anders Zorn.