Impressionism

Masterpiece Story: Strolling along the Seashore by Joaquin Sorolla

Zuzanna Stańska 27 February 2023 min Read

This painting is the crowning work of Joaquin Sorolla’s late period. It shows his wife, Clothilde, and eldest daughter, Maria, walking elegantly on the beach. The large format, daring composition, and expressive freedom shown by Sorolla are a sign of the artist’s great success, achieved after a triumphant journey to the United States.

Joaquin Sorolla, Strolling Along The Seashore, 1909, Sorolla Museum, Madrid Joaquin Sorolla Strolling Along Seashore
Joaquin Sorolla, Strolling along the Seashore, 1909, Sorolla Museum, Madrid, Spain.

Joaquin Sorolla was a Spanish painter whose style was a variant of Impressionism. His best works, painted in the open air, vividly portray the sunny seacoast of Valencia. He is famous for the dexterous representation of the people and landscapes under the bright sunlight of his native land and sunlit water.

Joaquin Sorolla, Strolling Along The Seashore, 1909, Sorolla Museum, Madrid Joaquin Sorolla Strolling Along Seashore
Joaquin Sorolla, Strolling along the Seashore, 1909, Sorolla Museum, Madrid, Spain. Detail.

It wasn’t different with this painting. It was painted during the summer of 1909 at the beach in Valencia. The water and the sandy seashore, depicted here in long blue, purple, and turquoise brushstrokes, become an abstract backdrop. The scene looks like it was taken from the photographic frame, which was typical for Sorolla’s works.

Joaquin Sorolla, Strolling Along The Seashore, 1909, Sorolla Museum, Madrid Joaquin Sorolla Strolling Along Seashore
Joaquin Sorolla, Strolling along the Seashore, 1909, Sorolla Museum, Madrid, Spain. Detail.

The horizon is removed and Clothilde’s hat cut. What we see here is a perfect example of the iconographic genre of the “elegant promenade” with well-dressed bourgeois figures walking along the seashore.

Joaquin Sorolla, Strolling Along The Seashore, 1909, Sorolla Museum, Madrid Joaquin Sorolla Strolling Along Seashore
Joaquin Sorolla, Strolling…, 1909, Sorolla Museum, Madrid, Spain. Detail.

This stunning masterpiece is kept in Madrid, in the museum devoted to the painter—named Sorolla Museum, after him.

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