Joaquín Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light

I am presenting a study course on the Spanish painter Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (1863-1923) for Greater London Arts Society.  The traditional study day with three one-hour sessions will be replaced with three following days, one hour each morning.

The dates are:

Monday 9, 16, 23 November (FULL)

Tuesday 10, 17, 24 November

Due to popular demand Monday is already at full capacity.

But there are still places left for Tuesday.

Start time each morning is 11.00 am.  The session will last until around 12.30/1.00, allowing time for questions and discussions.

The fee for each individual one-hour session is £10, with a bargain rate of £25 for all three.

If you are interested, please contact Susan Branfield….

Happy to offer this to all Art Societies, as a study day or short course.

Joaquín Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light

This series of three interconnected lectures follows on from the highly acclaimed exhibition held at the National Gallery, London in 2019.  For many this will have been their first experience of ‘Spain’s John Singer Sargent’.  In his day Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (1863-1923) was acclaimed for his dexterous representation of people and landscapes under the bright sunlight of his native land.  Sorolla’s work is often exhibited together with that of his contemporaries and friends, Sargent, Anders Zorn and S. Peder Kroyer. The Spanish painter Velazquez influenced their painterly style, all three artists known for their bravura technique. Born in Valencia, Sorolla and his sister were orphaned at an early age. His talent recognised, Sorolla was awarded a grant which enabled a four-year term studying in Rome.  A long sojourn in Paris in 1885 provided his first exposure to modern painting. He created a high-chrome version of impressionism, with many paintings lit and composed like snapshots. His art looks fast; Sorolla was known to be quick, not least because he normally worked outdoors, even when painting on vast canvases.

Sorolla’s breakthrough was but one aspect of Valencia’s fin de siècle culture. Modernisme Valencià was comparable to developments taking place in Barcelona in literature, art and architecture.   Sorolla’s Valencia had opened its eyes to modernity, aided and abetted by both prosperity and a desire to assert Catalan identity. The city was transformed by the architects Demetrio Ribes Marco (1875-1921) and Francisco Mora Berenguer (1875-1961), who was appointed the municipal architect.   Typically, Modernisme Valencià used modern materials, iron, glass and ceramics.  As in Barcelona, mosaics played their part in decorating exteriors and interiors, most notably the famous railway station, Valencia North. Local motifs include oranges, fishermen and the fallera, girls dressed in traditional costumes and jewellery, that parade during Las Fallas, Valencia’s spectacular festival of fire on the 19th March.   Sorolla tried to capture this spirit of Spain in his monument series The Provinces of Spain, depicting all the regions of the Iberian Peninsula, painted for the millionaire Archer Huntington. Famous in his day, Sorolla’s reputation was eclipsed by Cubism and Abstraction.  But like his contemporaries, Sorolla has been recuperated, his art seen to embody the modernity of the fin de siècle.

Three sessions:

Modernisme Valencià: architecture and design

Sorolla: painting quickly out of doors

Visions of Spain

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