Here, the model leans on an elegant gilt bedstead, flanked by a gilt chair, in a plush city interior worlds apart from the log cabins of Mora and Dalarö. She is unselfconsciously absorbed in her thoughts in an intimate moment, unaware that she is being observed, much like Edgar Degas's nudes seen 'through the keyhole' (fig. 1). Indeed, after moving to Paris in 1888 Zorn fraternised with many French artists including Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Albert Besnard.
The painting perfectly reflects Zorn’s dual identity and the contrasting worlds in which he moved: the vitality of the wholesome and natural subject a reminder of his roots in his beloved rural Dalarna, the bourgeois interior a reflection of the urbane life - fraternising with Presidents and the nobility alike - to which he owed his wealth and success. As Carl Larsson noted, 'Zorn was at home here [in Paris], as he was everywhere, just like a fish in water. He painted and etched exquisite works: Renan, Berthelot, Faure, and Coquelin Cadet, their wives and mistresses.'
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