Zorn made his reputation as a portrait painter. Fashionable people of wealth on both sides of the Atlantic vied for sittings, knowing that the result would be a picture less theatrical than a portrait by Boldini but more vivid than one by Sargent. Zorn often gave his portraits a sense of immediacy by depicting the subject as if he or she were just entering the room, thus directly addressing the viewer.
This portrait was painted in 1894 on Zorn's first trip to America.
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Title:Frieda Schiff (1876–1958), Later Mrs. Felix M. Warburg
Artist:Anders Zorn (Swedish, Mora 1860–1920 Mora)
Medium:Oil on canvas
Dimensions:39 3/4 x 30 in. (101 x 76.2 cm)
Credit Line:Bequest of Carola Warburg Rothschild, 1987
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower left): Zorn / 94
Frieda Schiff, later Mrs. Felix M. Warburg, New York (1894–d. 1958); her daughter, Carola Warburg Rothschild, Katonah, New York (until d. 1987)
New York. National Academy of Design. "Portraits of Women," November 1–24, 1894, no. 358 (as "Miss S.," lent by Jacob H. Schiff, Esq.).
Hamburg. Bucerius Kunst Forum. "High Society: American Portraits of the Gilded Age," June 7–August 31, 2008, no. 29.
Boston. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. "Anders Zorn: A European Artist Seduces America," February 28–May 13, 2013, no. 2.
Anders Zorn. Letter to Isabella Stewart Gardner. May 23, 1894 [see Eze 2013], writes that he is "finishing a pink lady in oil—no good—Have no expectations on Champ[sic] de Mars" [this work].
"Portraits of Women." Outlook (November 17, 1894), p. 820.
Karl Asplund. Anders Zorn: His Life and Work. Ed. Geoffrey Holme. London, 1921, p. 42, states that the portrait was executed during the artist's first trip to America in 1894.
Edward M. M. Warburg. As I Recall: Some Memoirs. Passaic, New Jersey, 1978, p. 43, states that his mother was eighteen at the time of the portrait; quotes his grandfather as having found the painting beautiful but questioning its likeness to his daughter and the artist's response.
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 240, ill.
Anders Zorn. Självbiografiska anteckningar. Ed. Birgitta Sandström. Mora, Sweden, 2004, p. 147.
Barbara Dayer Gallati in Barbara Dayer Gallati. High Society. American Portraits of the Gilded Age. Exh. cat., Bucerius Kunst Forum. Hamburg, 2008, pp. 140, 142–43, no. 29, ill. (color).
Eric Homberger in Barbara Dayer Gallati. High Society. American Portraits of the Gilded Age. Exh. cat., Bucerius Kunst Forum. Hamburg, 2008, p. 30.
Susanne Scharf in Barbara Dayer Gallati. High Society. American Portraits of the Gilded Age. Exh. cat., Bucerius Kunst Forum. Hamburg, 2008, p. 193.
William Hagans and Willow Hagans. Zorn in America: A Swedish Impressionist of the Gilded Age. Chicago, 2009, pp. 60, 79, 119, 352 n. 61, dates it to winter 1894, shortly before the sitter's marriage to Felix Warburg.
Oliver Tostmann inAnders Zorn: A European Artist Seduces America. Ed. Oliver Tostmann. Exh. cat., Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Boston, 2013, p. 17.
Anne-Marie Eze inAnders Zorn: A European Artist Seduces America. Ed. Oliver Tostmann. Exh. cat., Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Boston, 2013, pp. 84, 174, no. 2, ill. pp. 79, 85 (color, overall and detail), publishes Zorn 1894 and identifies The Met's painting as the one discussed in the letter; confirms that the picture was painted in Paris in spring 1894 based on Zorn 1894.
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