Thursday, July 21, 2011


Every serious painter at one point in his or her life has to make the journey to the artist’s Mecca, the home and birth place of one of the world’s greatest masters. I’m talking about Anders Zorn, his house and museum in Mora. This, I have noticed is a place where most established artists will once in their life time want to visit. This was my fourth or fifth time here and as usual when I asked the relatives if they want to follow along they all cringe and decline, maybe it’s just me that experiences the fanatical religious epiphany. The only individual I could talk into following me on my mission was my wife, and this was with great apprehension “Two hours of driving there and two hours back again to look at what ?!” She said.

When we arrived it was raining and we were both hungry, like every great journey it is best to eat first, so we found a small restaurant close by to get a bite. After that you make your reservations for the tour of his home. It’s best to do that first since everyone does it and the small groups fill up fast. We had about two hours to look through the museum before the house tour. The collection was quite impressive, starting out with a large grouping of his earlier watercolors. Depression set in - at age 20 Zorn was already a master at painting. Effortlessly he captured the figure in perfect form in watercolor, a medium where one cannot make a mistake. No wonder his oil paintings were miles above any other artists, even by today’s standards.

It makes it even worse when you hear how well he sold and was sought after by the public. He name was even better known over in America with all the presidents and government officials, where they pushed the prices up to exorbitant levels. He painted three presidents; one of them, Roosevelt still hangs in the White House. All of this made him one of the richest in Sweden at the time. This became quite noticeable with his home being outfitted with the most modern comforts at the turn of the century. Zorn even had the first electric hot water heater, bought at the world fair in America four years before the town of Mora even had electricity to run it.

They let me take pictures of the work as long as I didn’t use a flash. Maybe now I can study them up-close and learn something. If I knew half of what he knew I would be happy! So now I would have to say the annual pilgrimage to Mora was well worth it. I took the girls down to the running stream in the backyard, had them take off all their cloths and swim in the water with camera in hand……..only in Sweden !!!!

Richard Boyer

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