|Walk, Anders Zorn, 1906 (photo in public domain).|
Aside from painting and teaching, visiting museums is one of my favorite pastimes, and the Palace of the Legion of Honor did not disappoint. The Zorn show included 100 works of watercolor and oil paintings, prints, and a few small bronze statuettes.
|Summerdance, Anders Zorn|
(photo in public domain)
His watercolors demonstrate complete confidence in his palette, from which he captures the beauty of skin tones suffused in a softly dispersed light. He mastered the art of painting water, posing figures and boats in compositions which feature the complex surface and depths of the waters around them. He moved on to oil painting as he traveled through Europe and Algeria, interacting with other artists and gaining increasingly significant portrait commissions as well as capturing the customs, costumes, and landscapes.
There was a series of stunning nude figures in the landscape, often portrayed bathing in the cold northern lakes of Scandinavia. It was interesting to see them as prints and also as larger oil paintings. Zorn was equally adept at landscapes and still life work, but for me, his figures were the most breathtaking. In addition to what might be considered “celebrity portraits,” he devoted his energies toward capturing the culture and people of the rural Swedish countryside where he grew up, and this legacy is a gift to us today.
|And now for something completely different: |
Portrait of Lydia Delectorskaya by
Henri Matisse (arthermitage.com)