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Anders Zorn

(1860 Utmeland – 1920 Mora)

Albert Besnard and his Model. Drypoint on creamcoloured laid paper. 23.6 x 15.8 cm. Signed. (1896). Delteil 103; Asplund 105. 

The son of a Würzburg brewer and a Swedish peasant, the painter and etcher Anders Zorn lived and worked in Paris, where he was actively sponsored by Antonin Proust, in the years 1888–1896. This virtuoso portrait of the painter Albert Besnard in his studio, which Zorn produced during the final year of his stay in Paris, illustrates the energy and vigour of his etching style. The draughtsmanship seems almost casual, flung down with a few strong lines, and the boldness of the execution indicates that the scene was taken straight from life, in Besnard’s studio. The directness of the perspective – the artist is peering right over the shoulder of his friend Besnard – lends the scene great vividness and intimacy. Despite the vigorous sweep of the lines the composition is clearly structured, and the details, such as the very individual and vivacious face of the female model and her long, flowing hair, are shown with loving attention. This remarkable work is a further confirmation of the enormous number of highly talented French and foreign artists active in Paris during the last two decades of the 19th century. As early as 1909, Delteil drew attention to the rarity of the etching, which had been published in an edition of only about twenty copies.

A brilliant impression with rich burr and beautiful platetone from the uncleaned plate; with full margins. Minimal aging, otherwise in excellent condition.

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