" The Two Sisters", 1909, oil on canvas. The Art Gallery of Chicago.
(Beach of El Cabañal,Valencia )
Landscape painters from Britain and other realms of Mid-Europe look down on peripheric artists from the South when it comes to painting skies. No real stuff, clouds, masses of grey or strange blueish shapes in Southern skies, they say... How could one get good at painting it? Want a serious ski? Stay in England or Atlantic France.. Go for Constable, or for Corot at the most. But what about painting the punnishing sunlight in a beach shore on Southern Europe, say Greece, or Valencia or Portugal? You have to be a Southerner yourself, you must have spent your youth jumping in and out of the sea to really get it.. Sorolla shuts all the stif-upper-liped Constables of this world.. An area of brightly-lit beach.. Figures bathed in light.. The 'optical pleasures offered by the play of sun and shadow'.. 'vivid, sun-drenched colour'.. 'sunlit sparkle'.. Light!.. And more light!.. And more light still!..
The Right Honourable Reader should rush to Madrid, to the Thyssen and to the Fundacion Caja Madrid... Or failing to visit this magnificent exhibition, he should go to dear old Sorolla Museum.