Anders Zorn's oil painting Midsummer Dance (1897) is one of his most famous paintings, first shown in public at the Stockholm Exhibition of 1897. It was subsequently exhibited in the Swedish pavilion at the Paris World Fair in 1900, and was later donated to the National Museum in 1903.
In his own notes, Zorn describes the painting's creation:
One day we (Prince Eugene and Zorn) rowed up the Hemula River to Hemus and on the way back we went up to Morkarlby. Then it occurred to me to send for a fiddler and we went into a farm. Soon people gathered and a sixty year old opened the dance with a singing polka and so the dance was in full swing. Chairs were set out for us and the prince was ecstatic at the spectacle
Prince Eugen insisted that Zorn paint this motif, which took until the following year, 1897.
This painting was painted during June and part of July after sunset and I am glad to have done it. I had just then given Morkarlby a new long maypole. It was painted red every Midsummer and I considered and still consider it my sacred duty to attend and supervise the dressing of the same. For the rising at 12 o'clock on Midsummer's night, my servant, dear Verner, has been given the role of Colonel. Once it was erected a polska was played and a long dance was danced around the pole and into the yards, an endless serpent of youth; then danced inside some yard until sunrise. See what my painting represents.
The original had the enormous dimensions of 140×98 cm. Depending on the size you choose, the cropping may differ slightly.
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