Born Feb. 18, 1860, in Mora, Dalarna; died there Aug. 22, 1920. Swedish painter and etcher.
Zorn was born into a peasant family. He studied in Stockholm at a commercial arts school from 1875 to 1877 and at the Academy of Arts from 1877 to 1881. His art was influenced by impressionism. Zorn traveled widely in Europe (including Russia in 1897), North Africa, and the USA. In 1896 he settled in Mora.
Zorn first worked in watercolor, but in the late 1880’s he switched to oils. His paintings of figures express a joy of living and are filled with movement. Zorn boldly conveyed the effects of lighting, outlining forms with free, broad strokes, frequently in a sketchlike manner. The painterly virtuosity of Zorn’s works at times took on a distinctive dandyism. Zorn also painted genre scenes from the life of Swedish peasants (Dance on St. John’s Eve, 1897, National Museum, Stockholm), studio scenes, and landscapes with figures (including numerous nudes en plein air). His portraits masterfully conveyed unique gestures and fleeting facial expressions (The Actor Coquelin, 1889, private collection, Stockholm). Zorn’s etchings are characterized by a rich play of light and shadow and by great expressiveness. Zorn also worked as a sculptor (the statue A. Vasa, bronze, 1903, Mora Museum). He sculpted numerous bronze statuettes in a style closely resembling that of A. Maillol.