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This is one of the last pictures that Sorolla painted on his most characteristic subject: naked children in the seaside sun. It was painted in the Balearics in the summer of 1919, almost certainly at Sant Vicenç Cove on Majorca, as Pantorba said, although the inscription on the back reads, “Niños buscando mariscos. Menorca”. The inscription is possibly wrong, since it is known that Sorolla painted in Majorca in 1919, invited by his friend the artist Lorenzo Cerdá, and also on Ibiza, where he did Los contrabandistas (The Smugglers), commissioned by American tobacco magnate Thomas T. Ryan. I know nothing, however, of an escapade to Menorca, if indeed it did take place.

This picture, which is painted somewhat more in sketch form than that of Sorolla’s best-known works on similar subjects, is very similar in concept to the above-mentioned, strictly contemporary, oil painting, Los contrabandistas. This is not only due to the way in which it was painted, but also because of its perspective, from the top looking down, with the central figure in both of them leaning his hands and feet against the upward-sloping rocks, and with the water shown on a lower plane.

Details

  • Title: Children Looking for Shellfish
  • Date Created: 1919
  • Place Part Of: Spain
  • Physical Dimensions: w960 x h640 mm (Complete)
  • Painter: Joaquín Sorolla
  • Exhibition: Madrid, Spain
  • Credit Line: Signed and dated at the bottom right “J. Sorolla / 1919”
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Fundación Banco Santander, www.fundacionbancosantander.com
  • External Link: Fundación Banco Santander
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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