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Omnibus II

Anders Zorn • Painting, 1892, 126×88 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Portrait, Genre scene
Style of art: Impressionism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1892
Size: 126×88 cm
Artwork in selections: 42 selections

Description of the artwork «Omnibus II»

At first glance does not really understand what made is always such a frivolous and jovial Zorn on creating socially critical story, has not lost relevance to this day. The only difference is that today the omnibus on canvas would replace the subway car or the cabin of the bus, and dresses with hairstyles would be consistent with the spirit of the time. But the atmosphere of the evening rush hour when, tired after a long working day people (someone even tried to snatch a piece of sleep on the way home), looking blankly somewhere deep inside himself eerily familiar.

Picture Zorn "In omnibus" knocked out of his favorite motifs as the unloved stepchild, a foundling or illegitimate child, among others, noble and bursting with well-being of our brothers and sisters. Portraits of the nobility of all classes (kings, presidents and billionaires lined up to the Joker-the Swede in turn); fat naked nymphs, admiring his reflection in the water; peaceful rural types passionately beloved by the artist homeland.


Zorn in General barely spoke to scenes from urban life. Except for the exotic: his sensuous nature equally attracted and ethnic flavor ladies of high society of Algeriaand the discreet charm of the poor street musicians of Italy. I recall another travel story– a bleak and dull "Impressions of London"written by a year early "Omnibus". And, by the way, is also showing this representative of public transport is horse-drawn, only this time on the outside, not the inside.

It turns out, the key to the puzzle of how simple, and so trivial (which is in the spirit of the eccentric Zorn). You see, he scene in the omnibus seemed to not depressing and thought-provoking thinking, how hard a person has to earn their daily bread in the city, but rather comical.

He recalls: "The story amused me that the most different people meet each other during the trip – the worker, who is tired after an exhausting working day, want to fall asleep in the shoulder of his beautiful unknown neighbor; a young milliner in the foreground, on the face of which falls on the spot of electric light from the middle of the Boulevard, and which, I believe, typical of the hardworking, honest and good French working class. I made many trips from Montmartre in the omnibus before [the idea of the future picture] cleared up in my head, and then to work".

To create the paintings had not only repeated flights along the route, but several attempts. This is the second of them. At firstmissing the cut edge of the canvas the figure of a man in the foreground is favored by the impressionist way of involving the viewer into the picture space. Thirdrepresents the etching is a mirror image of the second story. Survived two preparatory oil sketch, which the same heroine looks out the window of the omnibus (1, 2).

By the way, the most famous, second version includes the "Easter egg" – hidden Zorn self portrait: take a closer look to stiff the man with the huge moustache in the cylinder.

Ah, opening day!

Painting by Anders Zorn "In omnibus" was his first work sold in the United States. He brought her to Chicago to attend the world's Columbian exhibition of 1893, dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America. This event could not miss one of the most famous art collectors of the time, the American Isabella Stewart Gardner.

According to legend, Isabella was so fascinated by the canvas, which immediately asked standing next to the man, is it possible to buy it, and don't know whether it is an hour with the author. This man was Zorn. She exclaimed: "Is it really you! Well, I'm sure, soon we can be enemies... Or otherwise, very quickly make friends. You just have to be today to tea!"So a chance meeting was the beginning of a long friendship. And immediately acquired a fateful cloth is still kept in the Museum of Isabella Stewart Gardner in Boston.

There you can see the portrait of the founder of the Museum of the Zorn brush. First, he attempted to capture their high patron in February, 1894, during a visit in the family's Boston residence. The result did not seem successful either her or the artist himself. It is no wonder: Isabella came to etching like a sad gnome.

But Zorn did not give up, repeating the attempt for several weeks until he and his wife visited the Gardners in Venice Palazzo Barbaro. It was there that he managed to capture the moment when Mrs. Gardner opened the French casement of the balcony, returning to the Studio. "Stay where you are! – exclaimed the artist. – SuchI wanted to capture".

Author: Natalia Azarenka