PRINT BOOK FORMAT - 33 pages, glossy, A4, white spiral bound and large size text
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Saint Lucia: Early Christian Martyr or Valencian Fashion Model?

The Fine Arts Museum of Valencia is where you can find this gorgeous rendition of one of the most interesting virgin saints of the biblical world.

However, this Lucía de Siracusa is a Valencian Renaissance gem, displaying all of her devotion in a marvelously embroidered silk cloak.

Article by Karla Darocas (

Known also as St. Lucia, she was a young Christian martyr (283-304), who is revered as a saint by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. In Spain, she is celebrated by her devotees with a festival on December 13, the longest night of the year, according to the first Julian calendar. 

This image most likely follows the medieval legend about Lucia. When she refused to marry, she was persecuted by Pascasio, a proconsul to the Roman magistrate. He ordered that she be raped to get rid of her holy devotion to God and that her beautiful eyes be gouged out. But luckily, God gifted her with new eyes, even more beautiful than those she had before.


The Valencia Fine Arts Museum contains some of the most important paintings in Spanish history. As soon as you walk into the main gallery, a monumental painting of San Miguel Arcángel takes your breath away.

This work of art has been in the museum's collections for a long time and has been seen by many generations of Valencians and foreigners. Because of its size, it is very compelling and captures your attention immediately. 


"When all the artists painted in the studios, he painted outdoors; when a filtered and conventional light, with the pallor of consumption, he brutally grasped the rays of the sun on the tips of his brushes and fixed them on his canvases."

- Vicente Blasco Ibáñez

Sorolla's intimate friend and inspiration, Vicente Blasco, expressed his opinion on the work of Sorolla in a brief extract from a newspaper that was announcing Sorolla's death. Blasco believed that his friend was one of the brave ones because Sorolla painting outside, as often as the weather would permit. It was the hardest route to take, considering that studio painting was an environment where all elements, especially the light source, could be controlled. 

Even though open air painting was popular in Sorolla's era, he really didn't become fully addicted until after the turn of the century. 

Why was painting outside so exciting and risky for Sorolla?  But also, why was light so important in general terms?

Article by Karla Darocas, Hons. B.A. (

Sorolla: INTO THE LIGHT of Impressionism & Luminism

TIME: 17:00 H - Madrid Time
WHERE: Zoom 
FEE: 10 euros
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NOTE; Once your fee has been paid, you will be sent your ZOOM Password to the Lecture. 

LECTURE - Joaquín Sorolla: THE NAKED TRUTH of Academicism, Social Realism & Costumbrismo


"I thoroughly enjoyed the lecture. The detail and amount of information you covered was enormous. 
As you know I am a Sorolla fan and have painted many of his works, but do enjoy the early paintings. They have a different style and show what a talented painter he was. 
I look forward to your next lecture."
- Best wishes, James, Javea

"Fascinating lecture by Karla. I almost felt like an insider to the paintings presented, most of which I had not seen before.  I became fascinated with the "Costumbrista" era of Sorolla's Spanish paintings.  I absolutely loved them.  I appreciate the way Karla presents the information. Her knowledge gives you a wonderful perspective and you are grasping for more.  I feel fortunate I ran across Karla on the internet, because living in Valencia, I didn't have the opportunity to "attend" her classroom sessions until the Pandemic, when she started on Zoom.  In situations like this I always go back to my favorite Haiku:
Barn's burnt down --
now, I can see the moon.
- Mizuta Masahide
Muchas gracias Karla, can't wait for the next one."
-Mimi Carrera, Valencia city

"Karla's lecture are so full of the historical context of Spain. I enjoyed the  Costumbrista style masterpieces of Sorolla. His academic work was beautiful too and when you keep in mind of his young age when he was painting these works, amazing! The historical philosophies of Spain and Europe at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century comes to life in the absolute master works of the great and unique Sorolla. He formed a unique style with inspirations from master painters from Velazquez to the modern era of Monet."
-Trudi van Dorp, Benitachell

"Another fascinating lecture from Karla on Sorolla's work. It was fascinating to learn about the need to produce popular regional paintings to make money while developing his professional reputation through social realism paintings. As Karla talked us through the paintings, I learned about the links between the sciences and arts in the period. As the world adjusted to the discoveries of Darwin, artists began to focus on naturalism. Sorolla walked a tightrope between this new world and the traditions shown in his costumbrismo works. Another fascinating talk leaving us with much to reflect on."
- Denise Bayes, Barcelona


In this lecture, we will explore Sorolla's early journey throughout his educational phase where he was committed to academicism. This style of true-to-life, narrative, realist painting was the "official" or "approved" style of European art since the 1600's. It was dominated by conventions combined with a fixed set of aesthetics. Above all, paintings needed to contain a suitably moral message.

After perfecting religious and historical narrative paintings, he decided to reflect on the harshness of life and the most vulnerable lower classes, encapsulated in an emerging genre that was named social realism

This was a bold choice for Sorolla, especially at the beginning of his career. While other artists were in the pursuit of classical beauty and legendary stories to enhance their vocations, Sorolla went towards expressing the ugly injustices that were on the rise due to the industrial revolution. These sad and often disturbing visions were based on his real life observations.

He won several awards with his social realism paintings. These prizes elevated his fame and profile in the art world, but at home he found himself creating genre paintings in the Valencian regional style of costumbrismo. He chose themes that were popular to where he lived and hence easy to sell to generate needed revenue to support his wife and three children. 


Social realism: pictorial interpretation focused on the most dramatic circumstances of the lesser classes related to Baroque’s artistic realism and historical arguments, that is, narrative content, considered necessary in the 19th and 20th centuries and prized in the salon system.

Costumbrismo  - pictorial interpretation of local everyday life, mannerisms, and customs, related both to Baroque’s artistic realism and to Romanticism’s charm. 

EBOOK - CLOTILDE * Sorolla’s Cornerstone - Tribute to the Life of a Woman with Vision & Grace

Too often, famous men are thrust into the spotlight as if their projection was by magic! More often than not, there was a powerful, proud and determined woman behind that man, who was making the engine run and keeping the tank full in order to get her man to the finish line. Such was the case with the Valencian painter, Joaquín Sorolla. 

Yes, indeed he was the talented costumbrista and luminist who invented his own unique style and painted like a madman, but it was his wife, mother of his children and business partner Clotilde García del Castillo who was the mastermind, compass and key holder.

Through letters, photographs and paintings, Clotilde’s personality shines. Her commitment to her family, social and business roles are laid bare to all who wish to consume them as I have. 

OMNIBUS VOL 2. Illustrated Essays About the Marina Alta

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WHEN LIFE RETURNS TO NORMAL - The Print Version will be available.

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EBOOK - OMNIBUS VOL 1. Illustrated Stories About Xàbia / Jávea

Sensational Collection of Selected Essays about the Past People and Places of XÀBIA / JÁVEA

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The Only Illustrated Guidebook about the Muslim and Catholic Medieval History and Architecture of XÀBIA / JÁVEA.

  • Learn about the people who made the village possible and helped to give it glory. 
  • Marvel at amazing construction methods and designs of early builders, architects, stone masons and craftsmen. 
  •  Included are a variety of interesting regional cultural and religious traditions which are important to all who live in the area.


Explore and Learn About the History of JÁVEA  by visiting its most exciting and unique monuments and museum  with Spanish Fine Arts & Architecture Historian / Educator, Karla Darocas, Hons. B. A.  (


Sensational Collection of Selected Essays About the Past People and Places of XÀBIA / JÁVEA

  • Discover Points of Interest in the Area
  • Enjoy Revealing Insights about Past Famous People 
  • Learn About Local Legendary Stories and Traditions
  • 28 Page Collection in English

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