Over three million paid for "Summer Delight" from 1886. The highest price ever paid for a Swedish painting was paid ($3,213,000 or SEK 26 mill.) last week when the 1886 water color by Anders Zorn called "Summer Delight" sold at the Stockholm Auction House. The Zorn record surpassed the previous high price of $2,719,000 (SEK 22 mill.) paid in the late eighties for "Wonderland" by Swedish writer and artist August Strindberg, who, incidentally, was the subject of a now well known etching made by Zorn.
Interpreting the sale as a sign that the art market is recovering from the recession and heating up again, spokesmen for the auction house, which was founded in 1674 and is today the world's oldest, said that the buyer was anonymous, but that the painting would remain in Sweden, meaning that it was probably a Swedish collector or group who purchased the piece.
Zorn's new bride, the former Emma Lamm, is the central personage in the work, which is set in Dalarö, his summer home and scene of many of the artist's best creations. On permanent display in museums around the world, including several in the US, the works of Anders Zorn (1860-1820 often reflect intimate scenes of the life around him and capture tenderness and beauty with sensuous yet artistic details that prevailed in the early impressionist styles of his day.
Andrew Carnegie and Presidents Grover Cleveland, William Taft and Theodore Roosevelt were among commissioned portraits by Zorn, whose travels in the United States from the 1880's up until the years before the first world war saw him paint some 100 or more portraits of Americans. Some of the works from that era hang today in the National Museum in Washington, D.C., and museums in St. Louis and Chicago.
Various members of the Swedish royal family also posed for Zorn, including Queen Sofia whose painting still receives high acclaim. Another world famous and outstanding Swedish impressionist, Carl Larsson, was Zorn's contemporary and friend. At a recent auction of Swedish works held at Sotherby's in London, the painting "Esbjörn," named after the town in Carl Larsson's favorite painting region, the western coast of Jutland, sold for a merely two million crowns ($247,120) to an American collector.
More info on Stockholms Auktionsverk: www.auktionsverket.se