Sunday, May 26, 2019

Art & Food: Spanish Master of Light, Sorolla at The National Gallery

One of my favourite places in the city is the unmissable Trafalgar Square, full of heart and history. When I had first come to London, I would spend hours sitting at the edge of the fountain, people watching, listening to the street performers, reading a book; the stunning National Gallery adorning the skyline behind.

The National Gallery is home to world-class paintings, sculpture, and other fine art, as well as rotating exhibitions throughout the year. Currently, artist ‘Sorolla: Master of Light’ is being exhibited at the art gallery. Though Sorolla was very famous in his native country, and a hero in Valencia, this is the first UK exhibition of the Spanish impressionist Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida's (1863–1923) in over a century! In 1908, the Grafton Gallery London had hosted “the World’s Greatest Living Painter” and this year a new generation will get to see the cerebrated artist's work.

The artist was dubbed the Master of Light by contemporaries for the way he captured the fleeting effects of light. And as French critic Henri Rochefort acknowledged: 'I do not know any brush that contains as much sun.' That's how bright and lovely his work was. You can see all of it at the exhibition, at the Sainsbury Wing, ending on 7th July 2019.

From the vivid seascapes, garden views, and bather scenes for which he is most renowned, to portraits, landscapes and genre scenes of Spanish life, the exhibition features more than 60 works spanning Sorolla's career – many of which are travelling from private collections and from afar.

Image: Joaquín Sorolla, 'Reflections in a Fountain', 1908 © Fundacion Museo Sorolla, Madrid