Joaquín Sorolla, The Horse’s Bath, Oil on canvas, 205 x 250 cm. 1909. Madrid, Museo Sorolla

During the summer of 1909, Sorolla moved to La Malvarrosa beach, where he felt a completely happy man. His triumph in Europe had been followed by further success in the United States, and the critical acclaim his work received was only surpassed by its warm reception on the market, which continued to demand more and more paintings by the artist.

This period of fulfi lment and self-assurance saw the artist create a series of interesting paintings, all set on the water’s edge. They are euphoric, extraordinarily luminous works that include some of the artist’s most representative pieces. In them, the Mediterranean classicism that hovers over all of Sorolla’s oeuvre achieves its fullest expression, an effect that was reinforced by the frames the artist chose for many of them, inspired by Greek architecture. In fact, an almost musical harmony, like that of a calm classical procession, informs Strolling along the Seashore, a work that validates the artist’s fame, in which the material treatment is given special prominence. Scenes such as The Horse’s Bath and Boys on the Beach became not only evocations of the Mediterranean’s Greco-Roman past, but also icons of Sorolla’s work and the expression of a joyful interpretation of reality, in contrast to the

pessimism of the Generation of ’98.

 
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