SOROLLA 1863 - 1923

"Boys on the Beach", Joaquin Sorolla - 1909

"Strolling Along the Seashore", Joaquin Sorolla - 1909

“Sorolla was Spain’s most celebrated and prestigious artist of his time”, says the leaflet of this magnificent art show at the Prado Museum in Madrid. The show opened May 26 and will stay open until September 6.

I was like a kid going to a birthday party. Sorolla always takes my breath away with his dazzling paintings of the sea and fishing and the beach scenes in Valencia. There are 102 paintings assembled for this exhibition, but my favorites are always the outdoor scenes, every corner breezed with noise and sunlight.

Paintings like “Strolling along the Seashore”, or “Coming out of the Water” are the epitome of joie de vivre, exuberance, elegance, and freedom. A feast of light and whites suffused with pinks and purples and greens reflecting the sky and the sea. His figures move in slow cadence along the beach. An unhurried life under their white parasols, and white mousseline robes.

“Boys on the Beach” is a delight in the physical. Naked boys, full of gaping life, rollicking on sand and sea, their bodies glistening in the sun. The wet sand around them is painted with very loose brush strokes of purples and oranges and blues, some of these hues clinging to the boys’ skin. This painting is like an extravagant gift, its impact always remembered longer than the gift itself.

Ah, a show that gives me pleasure like this is rare. This celebration of the lost culture of life lived leisurely. I will go back to the Prado to see it one more time and be knocked for a loop again.


  1. Gracias, por el Paseo a la orilla del Mar juntamente contigo, y por compartir tu disfrute con nosotros

  2. Celeste, thank you for this wonderful post. I love the paintings you chose to share with us. And, your words ... beautiful words describing the work and the show made it so real for your readers.