Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sorolla - Prado

Approximately 100 paintings of Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (1863-1923) will make up a major exhibition at the Prado in Madrid, May 26 - September 6.

Sorolla is one of my all-time favorite painters - with a style of bravura brushwork unmatched, he created wondrous moments like Just Out of the Sea, captured glorious light in scenes such as Sewing the Sail and Lunch on the Boat, but also depicted pathos in paintings like the devastating Sad Inheritance.

There's not a show I'd rather see of any artist, anywhere. (Alex Kanevsky's new work at J. Cacciola Gallery would be second on the list!)

Also, visit Museo Sorolla here.


joel said...

these are beautiful. these are poignant and powerful. these are more than paintings...

what else can i say?

perugina said...

una storia su tela!a story on canvas!these here you have posted are breathtaking!!
thanks for sharing these Nick

William K. Moore said...

Was strolling through the Art Institute's (Chi) final day of the Munch show. Included in the exhibit were other artists who influenced Munch. One of the rooms was dedicated to a "bathers" theme much like Sorolla. Seems this style of painting was in vogue during that time. Turns out - so they say - Munch distanced himself from the impressionist style to market his art under the umbrella of the mentally ill - which as it happens was also all the rage (no pun intended) of the day. In fact some of Munch's friends considered him alert mentally and most probably sane. To say these artists (the few we still remember and honor during that time were "crazy good” artists - well that's an understatement and doesn’t really give full credit to their vision and talent .. I would like to offer perhaps that they were “insanely good” artists - fin

cardesin said...

A great post Nicholas
thanks for bringing this wonderful work of painter that nobody knew how to capture the light!
a wonder!
greetings from Spain.

Nick said...

Joel - reminds me of the first time I saw a Sorolla (the first pic I posted).

Patricia - nice to see you out and about! Starting to seem like my favorite artists are Aussies and Spaniards, so I feel I'm well-situated geographically to intercept some of the crossflow.

Bill - as we discussed, this period of art, say from 1875-1925, is the one that most captures my imagination. Might be the absinthe talking, but lots of my heroes were around then. Of course I like much of what came after, but not so keen on much of what came before. For my money, Sorolla is worth a hundred Vermeers. Good thing Munch painted the scream, or you would have had to.

Juan - I think he was the greatest Spanish painter, certainly of his day. I love Spanish culture(particularly the music), and Sorolla's paintings depict it in a unique way - not the dark dramatic tradition of el Greco-Goya, but rather brilliant sunshine and the seashore.

Teresa Palomar Lois said...

Sorolla is the best depicting light for sure, I'm lucky enough to live close to the Sorolla museum but hadn't heard of the exibition at el prado yet, thanks for pointing at it!

Nick said...

Lost - you're living in a great city for art museums!!!!!

Annaquarel.les said...

Hi Nick.I visited Sorolla's Murals in Barcelona two weeks ago. It was impressive. The size, the colours, the light contrast, the different atmosphere among provinces. He is a master of light and I love his work.

Victor F. Retuerto said...

Hi Nick. A few days ago a friend sent me an article on Sargent and Sorolla. I also noted a lot of data on school whose banner is Valencia Sorolla. I forwarded the information, I was preparing for a friend who asked me data, a few watercolors of the great American painter John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), when I have appeared a few of Valenciano José Navarro Llorens (1867-1923), great painter which he also attached a few works (oil paintings and watercolors) and that in the youtube links are not good, but give an idea is as follows:
And I remembered the "illustrious unknown XIX", well not entirely unknown, but not recognized or a fraction of their just ... And ... do you ask a painter of the nineteenth Valenciano ... And he only comes to mind the great Joaquin Sorolla (1863-1923 )?... Along with Sargent, the most important of its time.
Well, then I will relate a few great painters who agreed in their time of many that occurred in all Spain, but only those born in Valencia in Valencia eh ... Just and not all Valencianos were:
Torrent Mongrell Jose (1870-1937):
José Garnelo and Alda (1866-1944), the "cult artist of his time", according to Sanchez Canton. Valencian and Andalusian birth of adoption, because with the year after his birth he moved to Montilla, beginning his first training in goat (BA) and then in Seville Arts, Fine Arts to continue in Madrid (San Fernando) , which subsequently became a professor, but he was taught by the best universities in Spain BB AA:
Enrique Martinez Cubells (1845-1914):
Torrent Mongrell Joseph (1874-1937):
Cecilio Pla (1860-1934):
Pinazo Ignacio (1849-1916):
Sunday Francisco Marquez (1842-1920), father of Roberto Sunday Fayol (1883 - 1956), was also a painter who specialized mostly in bullfighting themes, albeit less reputation
his father. Francisco in Paris coincided with the great sculptor and also valenciano Benlliure Gil Mariano (1862-1947) who became intimate and I think Roberto's sponsor who made a bust of his child is a wonder that Broce (This is the sculptor Christ is in the Sanctuary).
And I repeat, all VALENCIANO ... there are a lot the rest of Spain. NO OS LO DEJO ASUSTEIS jejeje ... for another day ... Would it have been better than EXTRANJEROS BEEN ... Perhaps they were recognized more mérido ...
(Again, the works that are attached Navarro Llorens all, I've removed the majority of auction catalogs which are traded between 30,000 and 90,000 € approx. Ie, "two zeros less than the Sorolla. A fair antique oil sold me a wonderful Navarro Llorens eight million of the old pesetas, and you can guarantee that if any had any paid). My apologies for the errors of translation and throughout the text.

chris! said...

thanks for the tip on kanevsky's new work. i've seen some of them online before, but not others.

talk to you soon maestro,

masmoulin said...

Very interesting. Beautiful What a work !
Thak you

Nick said...

Anna - I never knew those were in NYC until I met Javier Ona there last summer. Of course I will see them eventually, I believe the Sorolla Room is being renovated.

Victor - thank you for all the information! I'll look up the painters mentioned, some names I don't know. Many similarities between Sorolla and much of Sargent's work, they were both virtuosos with the brush.

Chris - the Kman is the maestro, what say we take a jaunt up there and check it out???

Pierre - lots of French influence doesn't hurt either!

David Burge said...

The glory days of painting. Sorolla, Sargent, Zorn, a busload of Frenchmen, Tom Roberts and Streeton.
I love them all.
Cheers Nick, may they continue to inspire as you do.

Nick said...

Dake - thanks, I forgot about Zorn, he's definitely a member of that club. Didn't know about Roberts, just looked him up. Streeton I knew about, an obvious influence on many aussie landscapists.

wayne said...

Hi Nick,
..these are truly great paintings of the period and thanks for sharing them here.. they're full of light with tremendous figurative combinations of consideranble complexity, and a dramatic quality. Yet the eye feels at peace. And the light, serene. Agree with David that some of these are reminiscent of the Australian Heidelberg school (Streeton, Roberts, McCubbin et al) except that Sorolla seems to have not only the 'bravura brushwork', but also a bravura of figurative gesture, deft detailing and expressiveness..
thanks again Nick,

David Burge said...

Probably some of the most welcoming compositions one could find on canvas. The introduction, middle and end are so well designed. And then of course, it's what he hangs upon that line that puts his paintings in a class above most. Weighty subjects with an airy, easy, relaxed syntax. Delacroix, minus the melodramatics.

Nick said...

Wayne - sorry to be so late replying! Such luxurious brushwork, and those pastel blues, pinks, and greens next to the hot sunlight really turn my crank. Makes me want to paint in oil!

Dake - the subject matter is much more attractive to me than the heavy dark religious-themed work that put spanish painting on the map with Velasquez, Goya, etc. Seems to be more French-influenced with a dash of Sargent's expatriated American-ness.

RH Carpenter said...

Nick, haven't seen a post from you in a while - hope you are well and just busy this time of year. I got to see a real Sorolla at the Cincinnati Art Museum Saturday. I didn't even know they had one but I stopped and viewed it for a long time, checking the lights and darks = beautiful.

Nick said...

Rhonda - I couldn't find a Sorolla in their collection, it must be on loan. Which painting was it? I'll start posting more soon, it's been a busy couple of months.,,thanks for dropping by.

RH Carpenter said...

LOL! I knew you would ask me that and I didn't write the title down - a woman with a child, though, and lovely light on it. I'll have to go back and check it out again - it's in the same room as the Monet, and very close to the Van Gogh = pretty darned good company.

Nes said...

Hello Nick! The murals painted by Sorolla have been impressive, for some months I I could see them in the Museum of Beautiful Arts of Bilbao… the light wonderfully is catched in " The fishing of atún" , I am my favorite mural… I am small of size, but against those pictures you feel much more small still. I have visited the house-museum of Sorolla in Madrid, and there also I visited impressive the Sargent-Sorolla exhibition…… I bought the catalogue and for me it is a small-great treasure!
A greeting
Qué tal se habrá portado el babelfish esta vez...

Nick said...

Nieves - I can't think of anyone I'd rather go view the murals with - why not come over when they make the trip back to New York? Sargent and Sorolla - like having chocolate cake and ice cream!
No blog yet??

Anonymous said...

Hi Nick
I have just stumbled across your excellent blog and wanted to say that the Sorolla exhibition at the Prado is absolutely stunning!
I have posted a report of my recent visit to the exhibition on my blog at

Nick said...

inoils - thanks much for posting, I'll be right over to check it out!