L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Some slightly more interesting fellows - a selection of paintings by Anders Zorn

The internationally celebrated Swedish artist Anders Zorn seems to have been happiest when painting lusciously nude and curvy women - the shockingly healthy Swedish female - frolicking in nature or in his studio. But his considerable personal wealth was a result of his many prestigious portrait commissions. He painted the likes of the dour King Oscar II and Queen Sophia of Sweden, bulky American presidents Taft and Cleveland, and various other wealthy and fairly charmless sitters. Despite the artist's brilliant compositional skills and bravura brushwork, the portraits of men are, in particular, rather uninspiring. But here are a few that I find just a bit more interesting.

 Clarence Johnson Barker, 1885. (A grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt.)
Diplomat Harald Bildt, 1908.
Architect Ferdinand Boberg during his student days, playing a guitar, circa 1880.
King Gustav V of Sweden, 1909.
An Algerian man and boy looking across the Bay of Algiers, 1887.
Attorney Samuel Untermyer, 1901.
Unknown, 1899.
"Breakfast in the Green", 1886.
Banker Ludvig Arosenius, 1880.
William B. Ogden, 1895. (Grandson and namesake of Chicago's first mayor.)
"Mephisto" (Consul Harald Dahlander in costume), 1884.


  1. I no longer find online some articles I used to read a few years ago about the compositions of the brilliant pianist and composer, Clarence J. Barker.

    All i found is this comment on the Zorn masterpiece:;

    Clarence Barker, 1885, watercolor, 35 x 46 cm., private collection. A collector, now deceased, wrote the authors that he had a “duplicate original” of the Barker painting. A self-portrait by Zorn that was exhibited at the American Art Association, Anderson Galleries, New York (1931), from the Robert Scoville collection, was dedicated to Clarence Barker.

    Barker’s portrait was painted in London. Clarence Barker (d. 1896) was a grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt (1724-1877) and brother of Mrs. Walter Bacon, also a Zorn subject. He was an accomplished pianist who studied composition with Joachim Raff (1822-1882), a composer who wrote in the style of Berlioz and Liszt. Zorn depicted Barker reclining on a divan as he looks at a photograph of his fiancée. His devoted dog, who gazes admiringly at his master, is by his side. Zorn wrote that the title of the painting could well be Rivals.

    Of course, you already must have read this.
    Just saying...

    1. I knew some of that, Maria. But the delight in all this sort of thing is in the details; thank you so much for sharing them. Of course the sad epilogue is that he died so young, only 31.