EXHIBITION: Chasing Impressions. Joaquín Sorolla

Joaquín Sorolla
Chasing Impressions
Bilbao Fine Arts Museum
Joaquín Sorolla (Valencia, 1863-Cercedilla, Madrid, 1923) painted almost 2,000 oils on tiny pieces of cardboard, panels, paper or canvas—no larger than 20 x 30 cm—which he called 'observations', 'patches of paint' or 'colour notes'. They are always related to the artist's work at every time in his career, although they cannot strictly be considered preparatory paintings for subsequent compositions. Therefore, they are like a record of Sorolla's way of looking and the best synthesis of his pictorial interests.

This type of note was often used by great artists throughout the 19th century, and Sorolla also used it throughout his life as a way of exercising his skill, as well as serving as invaluable testimony of his freest and most private works. As shown in numerous photographs, Sorolla saved these small works in his studio and often gave them to his admirers, donated them to charitable causes or exchanged them with other painters. Yet many of them were also shown and sold at his major international exhibitions—especially on his American tours in 1909 and 1911—where they were appreciated as concentrated expressions of his talent.

'…You have to paint quickly because when it's lost, fleeting, you'll never find it again!' This is how Sorolla defined his approach. He was one of the most important painters in Spanish art in the transition from the 19th to 20th centuries and the creator of a recognisable oeuvre and a style of his own which takes shape in portraits and landscapes with a sumptuous, precise luminosity that reaches its peak in his paintings of the Mediterranean and Cantabrian coasts.

Small-Format Sorolla is curated by María López Fernández, Blanca Pons-Sorolla and Consuelo Luca de Tena. The first two are also the authors of the essays and timeline included in the catalogue published on the occasion of this exhibition.

The show is comprised of 186 small-format paintings on panels, cardboard or other materials from the collection of the Sorolla Museum. They are accompanied by a small glass case displaying his palette and other tools of the trade which exemplify his vocation as a plein-air painter.

After its successful launch at the Sorolla Museum of Madrid, Chasing Impressions. Small-Format Sorolla will be on display in galleries 32 and 33 in the modern building of the Bilbao museum from 20 November to 23 February of next year.

Opening: 20/11/2019
From: 20/11/2019
Until: 23/02/2020
Schedule: Wednesdays to Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays closed.
Location: Museo Plaza, 2


20/11/2019 - 23/02/2020


10:00 - 20:00


Bilbao Fine Arts Museum
Museo Plaza, 2, 48009 Bilbo, Bizkaia

Location 2

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