Elenita at her Desk' (1898)

Now that the new school year is starting, it might be a good idea to take a look at Joaquín Sorolla and Clotilde as parents. They were both very concerned about their children's education, first at home, where Clotilde gave lessons, and later at the Institución Libre de Enseñanza. 

* Report by Karla Ingleton Darocas. Hons. B. A.  (

In society at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, it became clear that children had to be children. Following the ideas of the Enlightenment, which promoted a happy and educated childhood, it was soon understood that play and learning were important facets to be nurtured by those who would be the adults of tomorrow in order to create a better society. Thus, special laws were enacted to protect children and national societies were formed to prevent child abuse. Childhood at this time was fashioned as its own universe, different from that of adults, innocent and happy; it became a happy age.

This period of training and education, of learning at a desk, was captured by Sorolla's brush in optimistic and cheerful paintings that show the little ones in their lessons as well as at work. 

Sorolla portrayed his children in endless postures: Reading, drawing, writing... Of all these paintings related to learning, perhaps the most beautiful is "'Elenita at her Desk' (1898)

Resource Books written by
Karla Ingleton Darocas 
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