Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Isabella Stewart Gardner Zorn painting restored

I found this interesting blog post by an art conservation student about the restoration of an Anders Zorn painting of a nude woman and child at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. I've seen this painting pre-restoration and it looked kind of dull and hazy. Apparently the painting was censored a while ago when someone painted over the woman's pubic hair. The varnish was also in bad shape and needed to be removed, it looks much better now with the more brilliant color. There are more pics on the original blog post.

This is the UV light photo showing the Zorn painting as he intended it to look, the over painting on the pubes shows up because it is non-florescent and is on top of the varnish.

This is a detail of the censored version.


innisart said...

Not a lot of artists paint pubic hair... Think that means anything?

Jasons-Brush said...

The censorship is interesting considering he painted so many nudes.

Can you recommend any good books on Zorn?

Best Jason

innisart said...

I have Anders Zorn Självbiografiska Anteckningar
by Birgitta Sandström, which is a good book. I ordered it directly from the Zorn museum (it was cheaper that way).

Jasons-Brush said...

Hey thanks for the link Innisart,

I wasnt aware of the store. I just checked it out, I noticed that most of the books say Swedish only.

Man, I have this same problem now, Im having to learn French to read Charles Moreau Vauthiers Comment on PEINT AUJOURD'HUI, in English its, How One Paints Today. This is a great book if you can read French.

Best Jason

Joe Kresoja said...

interesting, thanks for posting this.

innisart said...

Thanks, Jason. Yeah, I struggle through French texts myself, but as you indicated, it's a good way to get some great information. As far as the Swedish goes, well, let's just say I'll probably never get past the paintings in those books, but the pictures are always the best part to me anyway. All my best- Matt

Jeremy- did that person who commented on your nudes ever get back to you?


Johnnie Sielbeck said...

Thanks for posting - very interesting!

Julia Lundman said...

people are so afraid of a woman's humanity, i swear.

thanks for posting this jeremy. zorn is the biggest reason i became interested in painting and continues to inspire me, but I should add not only for his technique; I think Zorn's work on the whole embodies an awareness of grace and dignity in everyday life. Schmid too.

Belinda Del Pesco said...

Wonderful post and great news about the restoration.
If you're interested in Zorn's printmaking, there is a tiny little (3.25x6) book - in English - titled Anders Zorn by J. Nilsen Laurvik, an early 19th c. art critic and director of the SF Museum of Art. I found one on Ebay. About 12 figurative etchings - and 35 pages, with a passionate essay about Zorn's genius.

Logan Hagege said...

The pubes were probably painted out by that lady that wrote you the angry email about you not painting pubes...wait that doesn't make sense.

Joan Breckwoldt said...

Jason, are you ready to learn Chinese too? I just read about a book on Zorn at this site:
You might want to check it out,

Jackson said...

It's a pleasure to stumble across your blog. Thanks for the posts!le

pablo pablo said...


Jasons-Brush said...

Hey Jeremy,

On your video, you mention a color called Golden Green. Is this a Winsor & Newton color, or is it made by another company?

I see W&N makes a Green Gold, is that the same?

Best, Jason

lipking said...

Jason, I use Old Holland golden green, Winsor & Newton looks pretty similar but I've never painted with it.

Jasons-Brush said...

Hey Thanks Jeremy,

I picked up a tube of the OH Golden Green today. I noticed that OH has a golden green deep as well. I got the one that just says golden green.

Ive been using Sap Green for years, as my yellow green, but since its a fugitive color, Im looking for a replacement. Just need a nice yellow green, and so far this golden green is a wonderful color.

Sincerely, Jason

Anonymous said...

It's funny how genital parts in great works of art get censored often, even though they are very non sexual usually.
I've had a comment on my nudes that they are not 'real' since there's no pubic hair on them:)

Silvio Silvestri said...

Great work, Love your figures. Silvio from

ytuythdj said...


Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Oh Lord. Every other ad on TV is about sex, Viagra, KY warmer and even an ad I watched with the sound down looked like an ad for some sex enhancing something or other, but it turned out to be for a credit card....but nudes are censored even today! Talk about mixed messages.
Great to see this painting.

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Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
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