My husband John and I have just returned from one of the most inspirational art exhibitions I’ve seen in years, Sorolla And America at the San Diego Museum of Art.
Having long admired Joaquin Sorolla’s loose paint handling and brilliant portrayal of light effects we wanted to be sure not to miss this great opportunity to see his work in person.
The first painting in the show was a massive 10′ x 15′ canvas titled Sad Inheritance. A black cloaked monk slightly bending forward to help a crippled young man with crutches make careful steps into the sparkling sea water. Other children play in the distant waves, while some struggle at the waters edge, a very emotional painting which won him numerous awards.
When he became well known he received so many portrait commissions that he had a hard time keeping up with them.
He was a very prolific painter, producing thousand of paintings and sketches in his lifetime.
Everyones favorites of course where the beach scenes of playful children juxtaposed with weathered fisherman and lumbering oxen bringing the fishing boats ashore.
The photos in art books just can’t convey the grandeur of standing in front of one of his large canvases, knowing that he painted most of them plein air, on location.
Some of these paintings were in the San Diego show, some where from other collections. A great site to see more of his work is The Athenaeum.