Anders Zorn (1860-1920) is one of Sweden’s most accomplished artists and one of my favourite painters. He was a master at not overworking the painting and make the work seem effortless.
Anders Zorn’s hometown, the small village of Mora is also where the museum is located, about a three-hour’s drive from where I live in Norway.
The day at the museum started with a guided tour of the house where Zorn lived with his wife Emma. It soon became clear they were a very wealthy family. Already in 1914 they had electricity and a wired communication system in every room of the house. They also had a telephone (number 4), central heating and one of the first refrigerators that was imported from America.
The guide told us that Zorn from the beginning wasn’t afraid to charge high prizes for his portraits. Many celebrities and royalties came to visit and stay at the house. He was certainly not living up to the starving artist myth!
It was not allowed to take pictures in the house. If you visit the museum it’s definitely worthwhile to take the tour. It gives a very good impression of the artist and how they lived and worked at that time.
The museum next to the house displays the largest collection of Zorn’s work. Although he is best known as a painter, he was also a master wood-carver and sculptor. I was amazed by how many of his watercolors, such as The Grandmother , almost looked like oil paintings.
To stand in front of a large Zorn painting is an amazing experience. Up close, the painting looks fast and effortlessly painted. The bold brushstrokes seem fuzzy and random, but from a few steps back the picture becomes sharp and vivid.
The visit to the museum was a great opportunity to study Zorn’s work and I took many photos.