Anders Zorn, Antonin Proust, an etching

Paris, France, AD 1889

A major figure in public and cultural life in France during the later 19th century

Antonin Proust (1832-1905) was a critic, art historian and cultural politician, and a keen supporter of the work of Manet and the naturalist painters Bastien-Lepage and Max Liebermann. This etching is based on a portrait which Anders Zorn (1860-1920) painted in 1888 after opening a studio in Paris. It had been his first commission. This impression is a proof, printed on the back of a page from an accounts ledger, dated 1852.

Zorn achieved great international success in his lifetime. He began his career in Sweden as a portrait painter in watercolour, but travelled to London in 1881, where he studied etching; on moving to Paris in 1887, he developed a reputation as an oil painter. His technical brilliance secured him a fashionable clientele in Europe and America where his reputation flourished after the Columbia World's Fair in Chicago in 1893. Zorn's etching style was greatly indebted to that of Rembrandt whose prices his prints outstripped in some cases, becoming valuable securities during the period from the First World War (1914-18) to the mid-1920s.

From 1906 he spent increasing amounts of time in Mora, his home town on Lake Siljau in Sweden, where he and his wife developed an 'artistic home'. He continued to paint society portraits and female nudes, but increasingly began to draw on motifs from regional life around Mora, where his home became a focal point for the preservation of local traditions. After his widow's death in 1942 the house and studio were opened to the public according to his original wishes.

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More information


F. Carey, Modern Scandinavian prints, exh. cat. (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)

G. Boethius, Anders Zorn, an international (Stockholm, 1954)

E. Broun, The prints of Anders Zorn (Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, 1979)


Height: 240.000 mm
Width: 159.000 mm

Museum number

PD 1949-4-11-4811


Bequeathed by Campbell Dodgson


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