Sometimes I strike gold, not literally but with a sense of wonder and awe.  Which is exactly how I felt when we first stepped into the Sorolla and America exhibit at the San Diego Museum of Art.  I had a good hunch that Sorolla’s work would be beautiful but I had no idea how incredible it would feel to stand a few feet away from his paintings.

He brought sunlight into his work and let it dance across the canvas stopping to pause on the most unlikely of surfaces.  And yet, when the painting is viewed in its entirety, it remains intact and conducive to the painting as a whole.  

This painting is titled "The Peppers".  Here you can see the shadows enveloping the male figure with a bright spot of sunlight on his face.  Crossing over the painting the sunlight illuminates the post and down the shoulder of the girl and finally settling down on the floor next to the bag of peppers.  The light silently demands that the viewer thoroughly explore the complete painting.

Background of the artist

 Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida was a Spanish artist (born 1863) who developed important career ties in America during the early 1900s.  His success brought many requests for portraiture and his American benefactors were millionaires.  Sorolla was commissioned by the Hispanic Society of America in New York to paint murals of their everyday life in Spain.  Sorolla painted a series of murals of which several measured up to 15x35 feet.  The murals took Sorolla almost 8 years to complete.  He suffered a stroke in 1920 and for three years was paralyzed.  Sorolla died in 1923.

 Final thought for the artists:  Joaquin y Sorolla produced 500 works of art from 1901-1904 for his first one man show!

About the author

Nancy Kempf is an award winning American contemporary artist known for her captivating paintings.  Kempf’s prints are produced on professional paper with Giclee inks to provide her clients with confidence of a good investment.