TRIBUTE LECTURE TO CLOTILDE - Joaquín Sorolla's Cornerstone

  • This lecture is approx. 65 minute - a detailed presentation exploring the dynamics behind the many solo and family portraits of Clotilde painted by her husband Sorolla.
  • It will also highlight the changing fashion styles that represented the bourgeois class at the turn of the century and the Belle Epoch. 
  • Explained in the Lecture will be Sorolla's keen artistic knowledge and skills as a visionary, his techniques and palette. 
  • Also in this presentation are rare historical photographs of the Sorolla family and Sorolla's art shows and programme guides. 


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. 

If it weren't for this powerhouse of a woman, Joaquín Sorolla might not have become the international artist that we know and admire today. In fact, he might have had a very difficult life as an unknown artist. Clotilde García del Castillo was so much more than the woman-behind-the-man; she was the woman-who-created-the-man! She was his cornerstone, keeping the structure of their business and personal life from collapsing, leaving him free to paint. 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. She was a remarkable woman in an age where women of her status were considered second class citizens, who dressed in outrageous, uncomfortable yet remarkable fashions just to showcase the wealth of their husbands. Unlike Clotilde, they certainly were not worldly, enlightened, or business savvy equals to their husbands. Clotilde took on more than her fair share of responsibilities and never bulked at the magnitude of her contributions. She accepted her duties with enthusiasm and grace.


(Copyright)  Karla Ingleton Darocas, Hon. B. A. Fine Arts, Historian, Educator, Author


"I learned a lot about the way Sorolla's portrait paintings were used almost as adverts to get commissions. I enjoyed the discussion about fashion details and the links with Paris. I learned a lot about paint techniques as well, especially how Sorolla moved from the baroque styles into luminosity. Karla was well prepared and explained the slides clearly. Definitely recommend Karla's teachings! Really interesting and look forward to more talks."  * Denise and Michael Bayes Javea and Barcelona!

"After attended this lecture on Sorolla's wife, I feel like I have "met" his model. In this lecture, I got to know Clotilde as a mother with her children, as a learned woman who traveled with her husband to many fascinating places, and as an elegant woman of fashion. She must have been an interesting lady to speak with. Karla's lectured are very well documented and I recommend her teachings."  * Jo Jouas, Denia

"The lecture about Clotilde, the wife of Sorolla was fascinating. First, the beautiful paintings and portraits with her as a model and the explanations helped to place Sorolla’s work in context with his married life and the era in which his work was done. 

I loved the way Karla explained the way Sorolla worked with the new fashion in those days and photography. How he integrated this new art form into his work. Karla also explains paint brushes techniques and how Sorolla managed to manifest the different shades of white in dresses, garments, and sheets. When one listens to Karla, her passion helps one to ‘see’ the work of Sorolla with different eyes. I cannot ever get enough of it

The book that accompanied the lecture was a must for me. There were so many extra details revealed, for example, the death and funeral of Sorolla in Valencia (my goodness, what a story!) and even more lovely photos in full colour. The lecture complements the book (which I consider homework and loved to study) and all in all it complements the appreciation of Clotilde, who was not just Sorolla’s wife, but also his manager, the mother of his children, his coach and motivator. The person and influence of Clotilde came truly alive after reading the book and listening to the lecture.

I also like the way Karla answers questions, every answer has so much more details. It shows a very well prepared, professional art history teacher. Warmly recommended once again! Karla's teaching style is full of clear facts, clear sentences, and overall clear communications." * Trudi van Dorp, Benitachell