Joaquín Sorolla1897

Sorolla Museum

Sorolla Museum
Madrid, Spain

This painting shows Dr Luis Simarro Lacabra, the renowned psychiatrist and member of the Institución Libre de Enseñanza, at work in his laboratory with some of his assistants and fellow scientists. The scene was captured by Sorolla on one of his visits to the house of Doctor Simarro, a great art lover and close lifelong friend of Sorolla. Impressed by the intent observation of the doctor’s expectant disciples and colleagues, the idea for the painting occurred to Sorolla and he began to paint it straight away, going back each evening to the laboratory. The approach to the subject here is reminiscent of the paintings of Rembrandt, the great Dutch master greatly admired by Sorolla . The scene is lit by a single light source within the painting which throws the figures into relief and at the same time creates a rich chiaroscuro of warm shadows where Sorolla can delight in his passion for light in all its variations.

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