“Anders Zorn: A European Artist Seduces America” is a remarkable trio of firsts. It is the first historic exhibition to be shown in the new Renzo Piano designed wing (The Hostetter Gallery) of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, it is the first show organized and realized by Oliver Tostmann, the museum’s new curator, and it is the first time in 25 years that an international loan exhibition of Zorn’s work is on display in the States.
“Too young to be an Impressionist, too old to be a Modernist,” declares Tostmann, this intimate collection highlights Zorn’s influential place in the history of modern art. Bold brushstrokes, along with a masterful understanding of light, bring his subjects to life in a way that feels uniquely timeless and far from the academic portraits of the time. Take for example his painting of Isabella Stewart Gardner. Adorned in a luminous white dress with arms widespread, her youthful zest for life pops off the canvas, as if she is saying, I love life, I love art, I love beauty!
Self-Portrait, 1889, Anders Zorn (Swedish, 1860-1920), Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi, Soprintendenza Speciale Per Il Polo Museale Fiorentino
Portrait of Isabella Stewart Gardner in Venice, 1894, Anders Zorn (Swedish, 1860-1920), Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
Omnibus (study) – oil sketch, 1892, Anders Zorn (Swedish, 1860-1920), Zorn Museum, Mora, Photo: Lars Bergland
The Omnibus, second version, 1892, Anders Zorn (Swedish, 1860-1920), Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
In Wikström’s Studio, 1889, Anders Zorn (Swedish, 1860-1920), Zorn Museum, Mora, Photo: Patric Evinger
Opal, 1891, Anders Zorn (Swedish, 1860-1920), Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts