Anders Zorn is one of Sweden's' internationally best known artists. His fame abroad is founded mostly on his portraiture where he had the ability to capture the character and the personality of the depicted person. But also his graphic work, where he is among the most talented of all times, is well-known. In Sweden his nude studies are very famous, as are his genre pictures which mostly depict working people.
Zorn was born in Mora on February 18, 1860. He was the son of Grudd Anna Andersdotter, usually called Mona, "mother" in Mora dialect. Her family were farmers and she contributed to the family's income by working elsewhere. She had seasonal work in a brewery in Uppsala where she met the German brewer Leonhard Zorn, who became her son's father. There was no discussion of marriage and Anders Zorn never met his father who died in Helsinki in 1872. But the son was acknowledged and allowed to carry his father's name.
Zorn was raised by his grandparents in Mora and at the age of 12 he was sent to a school in Enköping. At the age of 15 he entered the Royal Academy of Art in Stockholm. As a young boy he had shown an unusual artistic ability and attention was drawn to the horses and human figures he carved in wood. He planned to become a sculptor but soon painting prevailed. He choose water colours, a technique which was rather uncommon at the time and this became his main technique until around 1887.
Zorn's health deteriorated markedly during his last years. He died on August 22, 1920. The funeral was conducted by Archbishop Nathan Söderblom and attended among others by representatives of the Swedish royal family and many cultural personalities. He is buried in Mora Cemetery.
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