[National Academy of Plein Air Painters members trip to see Sorolla]
article and pictures by Glen Knowles – designed and edited by Deborah Chapin
Upon entering the library, our first vision as we walked into the hushed room was the back wall, Sorolla’s 1903 9 x14 foot canvas of Beaching the Boats (or Sol de la Tarde – Afternoon Light). What a time machine! One has the tactile feeling they are standing upon the sand of a 1903 Valencia beach, as the sun is about to set. At that moment the sea is darkening and the surf is glowing rose.
Now there was a magnificent outdoor painting! What color! What breadth of feeling! The painting has two massive compositional sweeps. The first takes you from the man in the foreground (who is pulling against it) to the left through the surging water and foreground bulls up to the man on the left riding backwards upon their yoke. The second compositional gesture steps back in space in the opposite diagonal direction. This visual movement combined from a line of crumbling wave and his outstretched arm points your eye back to the right along more bulls, fishermen and the sail to the right edge of the canvas.
NAPPAP Sorolla Museum Trip
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