Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Anders Zorn: The Art of the Power Portrait

Anders Zorn ~ Portrait of Adolphus Busch - 1897 oil on canvas, 51 x 37 1/2 in.
Painted during Zorn’s second trip to the United States from 1896 to 1897.

Anders Zorn, power portraitist.

I planned this post ~

What does a traveling and much in demand portraitist do when commissioned to paint a busy executive who has neither the time nor the inclination to pose…

Anders Zorn, portrait of Adolphus Busch portrait with photo overlay.

~ but upon further study I realized that the photo was an old school photoshop. Busch's head is a photograph from life, which has been grafted onto the body in a photo of the Zorn painting. This monster was then photographed and printed!

Anders Zorn ~ Adolphus Busch portrait - photoshop/painting

old school photoshop portrait of Adolphus Busch
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Details of the Zorn painting showcase how thinly he painted but for the highlights.






4 comments:

  1. Love to see how thinly he painted (as you said, except for the highlights). I see the fall of a myth in that! (the myth of tons of paint).

    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Just enough paint to achieve the desired effect …also, his direct approach doesn't build up the surface with layers. I think most people would be shocked by the amount of turpentine he painted with …for a large painting to have a "bravura finish," the paint needs to be fluid so the brush can move speedily in long strokes across the canvas. It's much like his watercolor/gouache technique.

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  2. Very nice , Anders Zorn , Etienne Dinet & Singer Sargent ...they are incredible artists.

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