Joaquín Sorolla, Buscando mariscos, 1919, Óleo sobre lienzo, 64x96cm. Madrid, Colección Santander

As with his portraits, Sorolla’s landscapes were so outstanding that they alone would have been worthy of major recognition in his day. Infl uenced by his friend Aureliano de Beruete, the leading master of the genre in Spain at the time, Sorolla always showed an interest in the realistic portrayal of the effects of light in all kinds of weather and the faithful refl ection of the natural terrain. His landscapes are often the most tangible, immediate proof of the total freedom with which he painted. Though he concentrated on views of beaches, meadows,

mountains and cities, from 1901 onwards Sorolla also executed landscapes that are a product of the contemplation of a single detail, representations of a daring modernity expressed through unusual framings and a very direct and fresh pictorial language.

The artist’s efforts to portray nature en plein air, which required a great deal of physical stamina, diminished as Sorolla grew older and he became weakened by illness. His fi nal work was therefore limited to the

garden of his home in Madrid, now the Museo Sorolla. Sorolla painted his last pieces between the walls of these gardens, and it was there that he laid down his brushes for the last time.

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