Inventory number
P04649
Author
Sorolla y Bastida, Joaquín (Spanish)
Title
And They Still Say Fish are Expensive!
Chronology
1894
Technique
Óleo
Support
Lienzo
Dimensions
151,5 cm x 204 cm
School
Española
Theme
Género y sociedad
On display
Yes
Provenance
Nuevas Adquisiciones, 1895; Museo de Arte Moderno.

Inside a ship, two aged fisherman with serious, worried expressions tend to a younger one who lies on the deck after an accident. A protective medal hanging from the younger one's torso is supposed to ward off seagoing misfortunes like the one he has just suffered. Various fishing implements and even some fish are visible around the figures.

This subject stems from the artist's deep social concerns. The suffering of maritime workers ties in with other paintings Sorolla made around 1890. Here it is directly inspired by the view of that subject offered by writer Vicente Blasco Ibáñez in his novel, Flor de Mayo.

The drawing is rigorous and descriptive, but the tradition of Velasquez appears in the use of color, where ochres predominate. The composition is unbalanced toward one side, giving it great depth. And some aspects, such as the warm lighting coming from the hatchway, foreshadow the importance light will have in this artist's later works.

 
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