I’m not too fond of “realism”, as so often the subject matter is painted devoid of emotion and focuses instead on technical details that can become superfluous. However, there are a number of painters in the realist movement which have avoided this aesthetic pitfall and created imagery that is at once visually meticulous and emotionally gratifying. Swedish painter Anders Zorn combined the bold brush strokes and introspection of impressionism with the attention to detail and objectivity of realism. What makes him stand out from so many realist painters is that he managed to capture not just the image of his subjects, but also their emotional states and characteristics. For this reason he’s one of my favorite Swedish artists.