Mollbrink's Art Gallery
Uppsala | Kungshamn

Mollbrinks Art Gallery - Anders Zorn (1860-1920)

Anders Leonard Zorn
February 18, 1860 – August 22, 1920

Zorn was one of Sweden’s foremost artists who obtained international success as a painter, sculptor and printmaker in etching.

"Selfportrait 1904"
detail, 175x125 mm
ZG180 Extremely Rare

Zorn and his etchings
Zorn was recognized early as one of Sweden's foremost artists. No techniques was alien to him, he worked just as well with water colors as in oil. Although the etching technique came to attract him and the etchings was a major contribution to his success. With Rembrandt as a role model, he developed a technique where he dashes with bursts to build up the motif. The first etching was created in London in 1883. Axel Herman Hägg, then based in London, was Zorn's teacher in this technique. Zorn quickly learned the technique and a united expertise could soon find that Rembrandt now had got his equal.

"Zorn and his Wife"
31,7x21,1 cm
ZG 43, Very Rare
Executed in Zorn's studio in Paris 1890
Zorn was born in Yvraden, a hamlet in the village of Utmeland in the parish of Mora, Dalarna, and was raised on his grandparents' farm in Yvraden. He studied at the age of twelve in the school at Mora Strand before progressing during the autumn of 1872 to a secondary grammar school in Enköping.

From 1875–1880 Zorn studied at Royal Swedish Academy of Arts in Stockholm, Sweden. He 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. While his early works were often brilliant, luminous watercolors, by 1887 he had switched firmly to oils. Zorn painted portraits, scenes depicting rustic life and customs. Zorn is also famous for his nude paintings and realistic depictions of water.

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. At 29, he was made Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur at the Exposition Universelle 1889 Paris World Fair

While his early works were often brilliant, luminous watercolors, by 1887 he had switched firmly to oils. Zorn was a prolific artist. He became an international success as one of the most acclaimed portrait painters of his era. His sitters included three American Presidents, nobility, the Swedish king and queen and numerous members of high society. Zorn also painted portraits of family members, friends, and self-portraits. Zorn is also famous for his nude paintings. His fondness of painting full-figured women gave rise to the terms Zorn's kulla or dalakulla, an unmarried woman or girl from Dalecarlia, as the women were called in the local dialect of the region Zorn lived.

The paintings have the freedom and energy of sketches, using warm and cool light and shade areas with contrasting areas of warm and cool tones, and an understanding of colour contrasts and reflected lights. Zorn's accomplished use of the brush allows the forms and the texture of the painted subject to reflect and transmit light. In addition to portraits and nudes, Zorn excelled in realistic depictions of water, as well as scenes depicting rustic life and customs.

"Turkish Lady with slave"
10,6x18,7 cm, ZG 26 Rarity
Executed in Paris during Zorn's honeymoon 1886

The Collection today
Zorn's art made him wealthy and he was thus able to build up a considerable collection of art. The objects were not only bought in his native country but also during the many travels he made abroad. In their joint will, Anders and Emma Zorn donated their entire holdings to the Swedish State.

Some of his most important works can be seen at the National Museum of Fine Arts (Swedish:Nationalmuseum) in Stockholm. Among them is Midsummer Dance (1897), a depiction of dancers in the evening light of a rural Midsummer Eve celebration. Other museums holding major works by Zorn include the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The Zorn Collections (Swedish:Zornsamlingarna) located in Mora and Garberg, Älvdalen, consist of four museums dedicated to the life and works of Anders Zorn. The main museum - Zornmuseet - was designed by Ragnar Östberg and opened in 1939. Shown there, are extensive works of Zorn and his collected art by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, 'The Hovingham Master' (Poussin's follower), Bruno Liljefors, Albert Edelfelt, and Pehr Hilleström. The Bellman Prize (Bellmanpriset) is a literature prize for "an outstanding Swedish poet", every year awarded by the Swedish Academy. The prize was established by Anders Zorn and his wife Emma in 1920

"Gopsmor Cottage"
29,0x20,0 cm, ZG 275
Executed in Zorn's studio in Mora 1917
In 1886, Anders Zorn and his wife Emma, had bought land close to Mora church and here they moved a cottage from his maternal grandfather's farm. When Anders and Emma Zorn decided to return to Sweden after several years abroad, they began to enlarge the cottage. Zorngården was completed in 1910.

Zorngården remains today much as it was at the time of Emma Zorn's death in 1942. It is a fine example of an artist's home from the turn of the century. With inspiration from English and Swedish architecture, it is today an excellent example of the architectural freedom that characterizes the years around 1900.

The main part of Zorngården consists of Zorn's home and a museum with his art, but there are two other museums that also are part of the Zorn Collections. Gammelgården is in the southern part of Mora and consists of 40-something timber houses that Zorn bought to make sure that the old art of building such houses would not be forgotten. Gopsmor, Zorn's refuge when under stress, is in the municipality of Älvdalen and is only open for visitors in July