Anders Zorn (1860-1920), the Swedish painter and printmaker, rose from humble beginnings to become a distinguished member of the European and American upper classes. The artist’s international reputation was founded primarily on his portraiture, leading to high profile commissions in London, Paris, and New York. He possessed an incisive ability to capture the character and personality of his models, whether nude bathers, modern city dwellers, or prominent cultural personalities. Childs Gallery is pleased to present a selection of Zorn’s graphic works in the exhibition “The Many Faces of Anders Zorn.”
Destined to become Sweden’s most famous etcher, Zorn was first introduced to the technique in 1882 by
fellow countryman Axel Herman Haig (1835-1921). While Haig taught Zorn the fundamentals of printmaking, the student soon surpassed the teacher.
Zorn began to frequent museum print rooms to study the prints of master etchers Rembrandt, Goya, Legros, and Rops. Zorn’s etching style was particularly indebted to Rembrandt, whose work he greatly admired and collected.
Although Zorn studied from the masters, he quickly developed his own unique graphic style. He brought to the medium a painterly conception of space and volume, and all but abandoned linear contours in favor of broad planar hatching. Zorn considered etching an enjoyable diversion from painting, and his prints often give the
impression of impulsive, yet intricate, sketches. Vigorous lines animate the surface of his prints, giving them a sense of energy and movement.
The acclaim for Zorn’s prints eventually rivaled that for his paintings. He was one of the most actively collected printmakers of the early 20th Century and is considered a master of the medium today. During the artist’s lifetime, the demand for his etchings became so tremendous that he was able to command his own prices. By the time of his death in 1920, Zorn had produced almost 300 prints, impressions of which can be found in many prominent museums and private collections.