200 years ago from November 2018, El Prado opened its doors to the public to marvel at 311 paintings form the Royal Collection.

It was not called the National Museum El Prado at that time and it had a long way to go until it became Spain's master art gallery. El Prado has grown and evolved over the years along with Spain and its people for whom it shares its art and historical events. The ups and downs of Spains' turbulent times as well as the calm of its peace filled time can be admired in each room of this massive gallery.

SOROLLA: The Artist, the Humanist, the Scientist

Joaquín Sorolla (1863 – 1923) was Spain's premiere impressionist artist.

A master painter from Valencia, Sorolla won many artistic  prizes and was adored the world over. In his youth, he was idealistic and like a modern pop star, his powerful paintings served to bring a social conscious to the fine arts world and beyond.

Sorolla paintings are built upon scientific knowledge and based on natural phenomena and their properties and relations. Thus, information derived from sensory experience, interpreted through reason and logic, forms the exclusive source of all certain knowledge.

Sorolla's positivism held that valid knowledge (certitude or truth) was found only in empirical evidence and this 19th century discovery caught the imagination of entire younger generation liberating their eyes from the Church and traditional society.

Sorolla learned to take advantage of this scientific revolution and incorporate it into his colour palette.

The sea was often the protagonist in his paintings and before his could put paint onto canvas, Sorolla had to ask himself question like, "What color is the water? Why do we see it? How is it painted?"

Light is the key to everything and Sorolla knew it. He would experiment with a bottle of water and a little milk to simulate, on a small scale, the behavior of sunlight in the Earth's atmosphere. Like a scientist, he was determined to understand why the sun's rays turned the sky blue in broad daylight or orange during sunset.

Today, we know via science that colour depends on the inclination with which the sun rays pass through the atmosphere. When Sorolla took a lamp and his bottle with water and milk and entered the light directly, the mixture looked bluish. If the bulb was placed on one of the sides, the tone changes to red.

- intro by Karla Darocas. Hons. B.A.



"I really enjoy the in depth view about the life and times of the artist Sorolla. All aspects of this presentation from his life and times to the information about Spanish history around each of the times of a particular period of his artwork was fascinating. But more importantly is how much knowledge Karla passes on to her 'students' . The presentations are really fun and the time goes too fast!!! I always recommend her lectures, her knowledge and enthusiasm."
* Janis Turner

"I learned about a painter that I had no knowledge of, from his formative years right through to his death, through the styles and painters that influenced him as his work developed. The paintings were the star of the show. Very inspiring work, especially his use and rendering of light. Beautiful. I enjoyed Karla's informality and organisation and I would recommend her to friend."
* Debra Cazalet, Pego

"I had seen some of the work of Sorolla before and was so delighted to have attended your very interesting lecture on this great Spanish painter. His connection with Javea was of particular interest and you gave us a true illustration of his unusual technique and skill."
* Lorna Ainsworth, Javea

"Karla has a great knowledge of both techniques and cultural history. Sorolla is of great interest to me because I am Javea resident and so I have a local Javea connection."
* Lorna O’Connor, Javea

"It was another fabulous lecture Karla...we learnt so much about Sorolla and his work through your inimitable and very accessible style of lecture. I can’t wait to see more of his paintings and also look forward to hearing more from you in the future on other artists...thank you... "
* Gladys Cummings

"Thank you for your very interesting talk at the recent Anglo Spanish Assoc. meeting on Sorolla The presentation was very informative and it was a great pleasure to have had the opportunity to see such a wide range of his work about which I knew nothing. I wish I'd found a seat nearer the front !
* John G. Deacon, Jávea

"Wow and again wow! What a wonderfully interesting talk on Sorolla you gave to the Anglo Spanish Association yesterday evening. Many of us struggle to understand the subtleties of the development of an artist. What you gave us was a lucid, and well illustrated, talk on the progress of his abilities and career. For example I especially remember him being the first to use a white background. I look forward to hearing more of your talks, lectures and tuitions."
* Keith Hyde, Javea

"Karla'a expertise on Sorolla's life and work is both extensive and fascinating."
* David Decker, Javea