While visiting the Gardners in Boston in February 1894, the Swedish artist Anders Zorn (1860 - 1920) made an etching of Mrs. Isabella Stewart Gardner, which neither of them considered to be a complete success. Later that year Zorn and his wife visited the Gardners in Venice. One evening, Mrs. Gardner stepped out into the balcony to see what was happening outside, and as she came back into the drawing-room, pushing the French windows open, Zorn exclaimed (according to Morris Carter): "Stay just as you are! That is the way I want to paint you." Isabella Stewart Gardner patronized Zorn and promoted his art in the United States. Her support and friendship proved to be crucial to the artist's success in America. Considered to be the most important work by Zorn in the United States, the portrait of Isabella Gardner will form the centrepiece of the exhibition, Anders Zorn: A European Artist Seduces America, this publication will be a valuable resource for art historians as well as the general public, with little scholarship previously published in English about Zorn.
The catalogue features fifty of Zorn's works, such as Omnibus I, for which Zorn won a prize at the 1892 Salon in Paris, and Ice Skater (1898), which has never before left Sweden, combining for the first time major pieces from American collections with those of Europe - Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence; the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm; Zornmuseet, Mora; and Goteborgs Konstmuseum, Gothenberg, among others.