(b. 1860, Mora, d. 1920, Mora)
Swedish painter, etcher and sculptor. He was brought up by his grandparents at Mora. As he displayed a precocious talent for drawing he was admitted to the preparatory class of the Kungliga Akademien för de Fria Konsterna, Stockholm, at the age of 15. Dissatisfied with the outdated teaching and discipline of the Academy and encouraged by his early success as a painter of watercolour portraits and genre scenes (e.g. Old Woman from Mora, 1879; Mora, Zornmuseum).
Zorn left the Academy in 1881 to try to establish an international career. He later resided mainly in London but also travelled extensively in Italy, France, Spain, Algeria and the Balkans and visited Constantinople. However, he continued to spend most of his summers in Sweden.
While his early works were often brilliant, luminous watercolours, by 1887 he had switched firmly to oils. Zorn painted portraits, scenes depicting rustic life and customs. He is also famous for his nude paintings and realistic depictions of water.
It was primarily his skill as a portrait painter that gained Zorn international acclaim based principally upon his incisive ability to depict the individual character of his model. His subjects included three American Presidents.