The Bancaja Foundation exhibition of 86 paintings by Sorolla dedicated to childhood was wonderful. The exhibition rooms were spacious, and the walls were painted a muted grey so that the unique Mediterranean colours he used in his painting really stood out.
* Report by Karla Ingleton Darocas. Hons. B. A. (KarlaDarocas.com)
The theme of children was very special. His love for his own children and for the children of his clients was portrayed with fine realism. Of course, his brushstrokes were loose and flowing when he captured the background, be it waves or walls.
There were many unfinished paintings, which I suspect were preliminary works to get a feel for the final product. Or maybe they were just meant to be left unfinished around the edges for effect.
In any case, we had a lot of fun. I can actually say that today I have finally seen all of Sorolla's works. It took a few years, but today's exhibition put the cork in the bottle for me.
Paths of Modernity
For the same entrance fee, we were allowed to see the exhibition of the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza collection. It was a retrospective of paintings from various movements from the second half of the 19th century to the 1980s, illustrating modernism as a constant evolution of artistic expression.
There were some works by my favourite Barcelona painter, Ramón Casas (1866 - 1932), who was the king of cool. He really knew how to make his subjects relax. Just look at how relaxed this gentleman is in his chair in this beautiful architectural space bathed in natural light. It gives you a sense of calm.
His nocturnal paintings however, not only captured atmospheric changes such as clouds, but also explored chromatic reflections caused by the light on the water, in this case the light of the moon. The fact that he wanted to know about these nocturnal light changes would have been unthinkable for some of his colleagues from the luminist school.