Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Zorn's Brewery Painting

Anders Zorn, The Little Brewery, 1890 oil on canvas, 47.5 x 78cm

The museum website says: "In this interior from a brewery, women workers are bottling beer and corking the filled bottles. In the background, a supervisor is watching over their work. Women factory workers were not a new phenomenon in the era of Swedish industrialization. Their work could be both heavy and hazardous, but Zorn’s painting can hardly be interpreted as social criticism. On the contrary, he seems to have been mostly interested in capturing the light, the humidity and their concentration as they worked."

Footnote: I think the museum curator is right. He's not doing social criticism but rather has a deep affection for the people and the process of the brewery. Zorn's dad owned a brewery, and he grew up around the types. 

I'm guessing this painting was his response to the work scenes that Sargent painted in Venice, kind of a way of saying "I can pull this off, too."

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