Anders Zorn Biography | Oil Paintings
2-18-1860 Mora, SWE – 8-22-1920 Mora, SWEBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
When Anders Leonard Zorn was fifteen years old from 1875 to 1880 he studied at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts in Stockholm and astonished his instructors with his ability. As word spread, members of Stockholm high society approached him with commissions. Early in 1881, he was commissioned to paint a portrait of a wealthy Jewish merchant's wife, Lisen Lamm, Zorn met their daughter Emma Lamm (he painted many portraits of her) who in 1885 became his wife, coming from a rich family she was interested in art and culture.
Anders Zorn spent the winter of 1887-88 in St Ives in Cornwall, England, and this was a creative defining moment for Zorn. He started to paint in oils instead of watercolor and the second oil painting he made, A Fisherman in St Ives, was an unequivocal success, it was displayed at the Paris Salon in 1888 and purchased by the French government. After the success at the Salon, the Zorns moved to Paris, which became their home for eight years. During this period in Paris, he produced many works which earned him an esteemed position in the Parisian art world. During the 1889 Paris World Fair, the twenty-nine-year-old Zorn was awarded the French Legion of Honor and was approached by the Uffizi Gallery in Florence to paint his self-portrait for their gallery.
At about the same time that Zorn moved to Paris he became fascinated by the movement and reflection of light on water, which is hard to paint, now he made it harder by adding a female nude model next to or in the water, as in Reflections this theme he became renowned for. These paintings were painted as if they were posing for a casual photo, doing normal everyday activities, but nude.
In 1893, Anders Leonard Zorn was chosen as the director of the Swedish art exhibition and traveled to the United States for the first of six trips he would make and be of great importance for exposing his art in a new art market. His painted three American Presidents, Grover Cleveland, William H. Taft and Theodore Roosevelt. These prestigious presidential portraits led to many painting commissions that Zorn did in the USA.
In 1896 the Anders Zorn decided to return to his hometown of Mora in Sweden. The move to Mora from Paris also resulted in a change of style for Zorn. He began to paint Mora and its colorful residents and reduced his output of oil portrait commissions which took a lot of his artistic energy. He was internationally famous as one of the best genre, nude and portrait painters in Europe at the end of the nineteenth century.
Look at our THEN & NOW photo section. See, the present day location that inspired the famous artist Anders Zorn. We travel the world to find the exact location where the artist set up his easel to paint. We photograph it as it appears today. Now, you can compare side by side photos of the original oil painting and the present-day location.
Art Movement: Realism
He Traveled To England, France, the Balkans, Egypt, Spain, Italy, USA