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Anders Zorn: Sweden's Master Painter Hardcover – 29 Oct 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Skira Rizzoli (29 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847841510
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847841516
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 2.8 x 31.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 212,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


."..a richly illustrated catalog explores the life and work of a masterful painter." "Antique and Arts Weekly"

About the Author

Johan Cederlund is director of the Zorn Museum in Mora, Sweden. Hans Henrik Brummer was director of the Zorn Museum from 1972 to 1989. He also served as a professor at UCLA and as director general for the National Museum of Fine Arts, Stockholm. Per Hedstrom is deputy director of collections at the National Museum of Fine Arts, Stockholm. James A. Ganz is curator of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Mcdonald TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 May 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is both a catalogue of the 2014 San Francisco/ New York exhibition and an excellent monograph on the noted Swedish painter.

Zorn, an internationally famous painter in his lifetime, was a friend of the Spanish painter Sorolla, an influence on Russian "Impressionists" like Serov and Arkhipov and a (fairly good natured) rival to John Singer Sargent. Like those artists, his work was realist, often painted en plein air, and informed by French painting, most notably Bastien-Lepage and Impressionists like Degas and Manet. He first gained recognition as a watercolourist, turned to oils - principally as a portraitist - and was a masterful etcher, similar in manner to Whistler, utilising a highly controlled, shimmering chiaroscuro technique. Throughout his life he created a body of work celebrating the Swedish countryside and culture and collecting artworks and objects which have become the basis for several Zorn museums.

The book is a fine hardback volume consisting of four essays; a general biography, a study of his time spent in America, his place in the context of Nordic painting and a study of his etchings. There is also a useful chronology.
There are 150 colour illustrations in all; 85 full-page plates of the works in the show - including the etchings - and a selection of other works, some large details and comparative works by other artists. There are also a number of black and white/sepia photographs of the artist, his friends, studio etc. The illustrations are generally of very high quality; sharply in focus, nicely colour-balanced and detailed.

A very beautiful book to look through and a good reference/introduction to Zorn, well up to the standard one would expect of Skira Rizzoli. I`m very pleased with this and am happy to recommend it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 58 reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Don't pass this up! - Highly Recommended 3 Nov. 2013
By jpcooper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this book seven months ago and it was well worth the wait. This is a beautifully produced volume. All the ingredients are there - sturdy binding, heavy pages, gorgeous dust jacket and most importantly, the image resolution is perfect. Up until now there has been very little available on this noted Swedish artist. Earlier this year another volume by Oliver Tostmann, "A European Artist Seduces America" was released. This is a worthwhile work as well but not nearly as thorough as Johan Cederlund's new book.

"Sweden's Master Painter" contains a well-rounded and thoughtful selection of Zorn's paintings & etchings, with a heavy emphasis on his portraiture work. The landscapes are amazing and Zorn is particularly adept at capturing the qualities in any given body of water. His portraits will remind one of Sargent's style and his subjects were generally of that same social strata. The text is very informative but, thankfully, does not monopolize the overall content of the book.

This book was designed to accompany an exhibit of Zorn's work at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. By chance, I am fortunate to live within driving distance of this amazing museum. For anyone who hasn't been, this venue is a must see. The permanent collection is quite impressive and coupled with this current exhibit affords a rare opportunity indeed. The museum is located on a promontory overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and the surrounding area and museum grounds are absolutely breathtaking.

This is a must have book for any one who appreciates the fine arts. I wouldn't pass up Tostmann's book either. Both are very reasonably priced and will not disappoint. If budget or space is an issue get this title. Again, it is a much more extensive work and, wisely, hardbound. It should provide years of enjoyable viewing.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Zorn's Painting ". . . is so damned good" 30 Nov. 2013
By Kenneth Hughes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This catalogue accompanies the exhibition at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco from November 2013 to February 2014 and then at the National Academy Museum in New York from February to May 2014. Although represented in most of our major museums, Zorn has not been particularly well known in this country, even though he was as sought-after and successful here as any of his competitors in the Gilded Age, including John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini. But now, within the space of a year, we have had two major presentations of his work accompanied by two very good catalogues, and we are fortunate that the exhibitions/books complement each other so well. The first, at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in early 2013 (see the reviews on this site) focussed on the deep-pocketed patronage of Mrs. Gardner and her extensive social circle, which gave an immediate impetus to Zorn's career from the moment he first set foot on American soil in 1893 and proved invaluable to the advancement of his career for the rest of his life. The relatively narrow concentration of that catalogue allowed it to present a good deal of interesting material of a biographical and social nature, such as contemporary photographs of his models, of other figures involved and of the interiors in which Zorn's paintings were hung and a good (in fact, the first published) selection of Zorn's correspondence with Mrs. Gardner.

There is much less of that in this San Francisco (SF) volume, which, on the other hand, is not circumscribed by its attention to the artist's Boston connections and so is more comprehensive in its reach. It includes, for example, more of the society portraits for which he was so highly sought (and highly compensated) and more of the etchings for which he was less well known but at which he was apparently equally prodigious. These are discussed in a special essay by James A. Ganz, who is Curator of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts in the San Francisco museums, and who recently curated their wonderful "Rembrandt's Century" exhibition and wrote the accompanying catalogue (see the review). Dr. Ganz's essay is the only one in the SF volume which concerns itself much with aesthetic and technical matters. The other three essays are more biographical or broadly comparative: Johan Cederlund, Director of the Zorn Collections in Sweden, who curated the exhibition, writes a general life-and-works introduction; and there is an essay on Zorn in America and one on the artist in his Nordic context, both by prominent Swedish scholars--these are all completely authoritative (and very smoothly translated from the Swedish) but not very searching in their artistic analysis. In that respect, the Gardner volume does a better job: the essays are by and large more analytical, and each catalogue item receives signed work-specific commentary from one of the exhibition's curators.

The SF volume contains more catalogue entries, and it is also larger in size, so that the reproductions--of which there are eighty-five in full color and in full-page or double-page format--are also larger. (The Gardner has more, and possibly more pertinently chosen, supportive illustrations.) As far as clarity and color of the reproductions go, I think it's a toss-up: the SF portraits seem to pick up more highlights and the silky sheen of fabrics, but the color in the Gardner's landscapes and bathing scenes is truer, and the images seem generally a bit sharper. The Gardner has a better selected bibliography; the SF a more detailed chronology. A previous reviewer advised those who can have only one of these catalogues to go for the SF, but for me the Gardner has a slight edge--not by much--and fortunately it's not a contest. Best of all, of course, would be to have both; it's not as if there were already too much about Anders Zorn in English. If there is more to come, it will be a very fortuitous upshot of these two back-to-back exhibitions and catalogues, which have allowed him to (re-)emerge from an undeserved obscurity and to be recognized as the major artist he is, effortlessly the peer of his better known and more acclaimed colleagues. In any case, we should have more Zorn if only because--to repeat the blunt words of one of his fellow pupils at the Stockholm Art Academy--"It is so damned good" (11).
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Better than the first book at the US Zorn show 22 Dec. 2013
By Marco M - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After having gone to the Zorn show at the Gardner Museum I was disappointed with the book and didn't buy it...this new
Zorn book (not linked to the show) is much better both in quality and the number of plates. Well worth having if you like his work. A number of plates were ones I hadn't seen before. A lot cheaper than going to Sweden to see his paintings!

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
impressive book 18 Jan. 2014
By martha cammack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have not read all the text, but the photographs of the paintings and prints are excellent and inspiring. As an artist, who loves realism that is painterly, I would highly recommend this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Masterpiece! 17 Jan. 2014
By Gary - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My wife is an art educator and she just loves the book. It is compelling, well written, beautifully researched, and the illustrations quality is deluxe.
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