Anders Leonard Zorn was one of Sweden's famouse artists. He obtained international success as a painter, sculptor, and etcher. Among his models were King Oscar II of Sweden, and three American Presidents, Grover Cleveland, William H. Taft, and Theodore Roosevelt. At the end of his life, he established the Swedish literary Bellman Prize in 1920.
Anders was born into a poor Swedish farming family. His mother was a peasant, and his father, whom he did not know, was a brewer.
Since childhood, little Zorn helped on the farm and loved to carve toys from wood.
At the age of fifteen he unexpectedly for everyone went to Stockholm and entered in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Contrary to expectations, the sculpture did not really attracted him. But he had a real passion for watercolors. During his studies, Anders worked part-time by painting custom-made paintings.
In fact, this is how he met his future wife Emma Lamm, the daughter of reach fabric magnates.The couple got secretly engaged, and Zorn set off on a four-year quest to earn her family’s approval. He moved to London and set up a fashionable studio in Mayfair. Emma made Anders promise that he would become great. And so it happened. Zorn became insanely popular in Stockholm, London, Paris, Russia, and the United States.
In Paris he emulated the Impressionists as a chronicler of modern life, while in America he rivaled John Singer Sargent as the most sought-after portraitist of glittering high society. Back at home Zorn captured his native folk culture and the serenity of the Nordic landscape.
His fame, as well as fees, did not stop growing every year - practically, it's unique case among artists. Millionaires, presidents, royalty and celebrities every ones wanted painted by Anders Zorn.
Throughout his life, Zorn was torn between the social life of celebrity and the simple life of a peasant childhood. He spent the winter and cold in Stockholm and after spring is arrived he happily moved to his country estate, closer to the roots.
At the age of 28, Zorn acquired land near Mura (Sweden) and moved his ancestral farm there. Gradually expanding this place got the name Zorngorden. There, at the age of 60, Anders died. After his death, Emma made a museum in Zorngorden, which you can still visit and enjoy the artist's art and life.