A century ago, the New York Times dubbed Joaquin Sorolla “the Spanish painter of sunlight and color.” The year was 1909. The occasion was his New York exhibition. In a much later article about Sorolla written in 2012, the New York Times noted that during that turn-of-the-century exhibition over 169,000 art lovers ventured out in cold, icy February weather and endured long lines to see his work.
(Pictured above, After Bathing, 1915. Public domain under US copyright law.)
I didn’t discover Sorolla until my recent trips to Madrid. Now he sits atop my list of my favorite painters. It isn’t just his use of sunlight and color that draws me into his work. I’m captivated by the way he is able to depict emotions, connections and bonds between people. Some of the works were so moving that I couldn’t help but get misty-eyed.
There is a delightful gem in Madrid – the Sorolla Museum — where you can see many of his works. It is also the home where he lived with his beloved wife and muse, Clotilde. And it is the site of the gardens that he designed and then painted. (Read more.)
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