Thursday, November 30, 2017

Zorn's Mephisto

Anders Zorn was in Madrid seeking portrait commissions when one morning, on a whim, he decided to paint a Swedish consul as Mephisto (the demon from German folklore who tempted Faust). 


He wrote to his wife Emma: "This morning I couldn’t paint what I was supposed to, but then Consul Dalander from Valencia came up to the studio and, as a joke, I painted him as Mephisto, quite a pretty joke in fact." 

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Previously on the blog: Zorn's painting of an executioner
Exhibition: of Anders Zorn at Le Petit Palais in Paris through December 17

6 comments:

Susan Krzywicki said...

Interesting how, in the full image, it looks as if his eyes are looking in a different direction than they do in the detailed image.

And, it sounds like he was happy about the serendiptous chance at the portrait.

A Colonel of Truth said...

A marvelous feat in transparent watercolor!

Krystal said...

I just saw the original in the exhibition in "le petit palais", Paris.
To be honest, the whole exhibition is mind-blowing but this simple watercolour portrait stroke me right away and I spent a certain time observing how quickly and efficiently it is mastered...
I wish I could be half as good in my life portraits...

Daniel Polgar said...

A recent documentary about Zorn as a photographer. Sadly only in Swedish, but the photos speak for themselves.

https://www.svtplay.se/video/16016075/zorn-bakom-kameran/zorn-bakom-kameran

timothy bollenbaugh said...

Susan's right about the eyes (and it looks like he enjoyed the event!).

Your blog, book, and references often refer to planes when doing portraits. Zorn's painting seems to be swift, definite and decisive in modeling and gradation. Not a bit over or under worked.

bollent@wwu.edu

Thiago Vianna said...

Went to the Petit Palais exhibition last week. All the works are just amazing, the things that Zorn could make with watercolor are unbelievable. Truly a master of painting!!!