Today was my day to put down my brushes and go out from the studio to see some art. Luckily, two days ago, my friend Denise had suggested a trip to the Hispanic Society to visit the remarkable collection of paintings by the Spanish painter, Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (1863-1923). We basked in the beauty of an entire room given to Sorolla's gigantic, panoramic canvases, 14 in all, that celebrate his "vision of Spain." Looking at these, one learns a tremendous amount about how to paint light, the extraordinary number of colors it takes to make a convincing white cloth (see the image below of the trousers of three sailors), and the power of grey (check out that tuna fish). There are more Sorolla's upstairs on the second floor where you will also find work by Velasquez, Goya, El Greco, Ribera, Zurbarán, and Murillo. And then there is the museum's most famous painting that greets you as you enter the main space, Goya's 1797 Portrait of the Duchess of Alba, and special collections of decorative art, archaeological pieces, sculpture, and prints and photographs. This museum is a gem. It should not be missed, it should be visited often.
Above and below are some details from the large Sorolla pieces. All I had with me was my iphone but even in these little shots, you can see the magic of this painter.