Virtual Art Academy

Joaquín Sorolla

spiaggia a Biarritz, Joaqui Sorolla

Sorolla, Spanish Master of Light: Exhibition in the National Gallery of Art

If you live in the UK or are planning to visit in the next few months, this exhibition should be top of your list: The first UK exhibition of Spain’s Impressionist, Sorolla, Spanish Master of Light, in over a century. Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida is one of Barry’s all time favorite artists. Sorolla’s paintings have both very strong visual poetry and music including both near music and far music. This is a rare opportunity to see the most complete exhibition of Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida’s (1863–1923) paintings outside Spain.


Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (1863 – 1923) was a Spanish painter, born in Valencia, who excelled in the painting of landscapes, and large works of social and historical themes. Sorolla is one of my all time favorite artists. His most typical works are of people in the landscape under the sunlight of his native land.

Sorolla’s paintings have both very strong visual poetry, near music, and far music.

His use of color to create an illusion is particularly worth studying. He is one of the few painters who understood hue changes on a form.

From the far music point of view, he was very strong in composition, particularly in space division, the use of primary and secondary focal areas, and his use of eye movement. See the video analysing one of Sorolla’s paintings in the lesson on unequal space division.

One of the most wonderful things about Sorolla’s paintings is the near music. I have studied many of his large works close up, and found that he used a very large number of brushwork techniques, such as bravura, calligraphy, scumbling, and many more. In fact in one particular painting I studied closely in his studio in Madrid, I noted that he used just about every brushwork technique I describe in the Brushwork Building Block

For more information

A good site to see more of his work is the Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida website.

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