After admiring paintings by Sovek on the web I looked him up and discovered a website full of beautiful paintings and useful information and lessons for an artist. And when sifting through the material I discovered that Sovek was a fan of Sorolla. I read the article he’d written on him and like most others who see Sorolla’s work had fallen in love with it.
Later I discovered that books with his work were out of print and available only at exorbitant prices. There was hardly any of his work to be seen on the web. A couple of years back his work started getting more visible on the net and now you can find high res images at several locations. Then there was the retrospective at the Museo Nacional del Prado last year.
I couldn’t see the exhibition but with the help of my sisters I had the catalogue in hand by December last year.
And then there was this year. An unbelievably exciting treat lay in store for me. I got to see Sorolla’s work IRL! In my afternoon class at the league I was told both by Peter Homitzky and a fellow student, Mary about Joaquin Sorolla paintings at the Hispanic Society of America’s Museum in Harlem. The paintings that had been out on loan for three years to the Museo del Prado had recently returned. I couldn’t believe that the paintings had been in the city all along!! And I couldn’t wait to go see it in person.
His series of 14 paintings, Visions of Spain are now installed in a separate gallery adjacent to the main one. The canvases are huge and the paintings marvelous. You can easily see why he’s known as the Painter of Light. It was a treat to be able to view the works at leisure without waiting or feeling rushed as you would if you were making someone else wait. There were just one other group of people at the Museum that Saturday. I feel extremely lucky to have had this opportunity. The entry is free and while the collection is small it is definitely worth a visit and if you’re a Sorolla fan it is a must. And if you havent seen enough of Sorolla’s work you can have a look at it online here.
An interesting tidbit that Peter Homitzky shared with us in class was that he’d actually worked on restoring one of Joaquin Sorolla’s paintings! I also had the opportunity to go through his copy of the catalogue printed during the 1989 Sorolla retrospective held in the IBM building.
Follow this link for a great collection of his work on the Artchive archives.