Fisherwomen with her son

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida1908

Sorolla Museum

Sorolla Museum
Madrid, Spain

In the summer of 1908, Sorolla was painting at the beach in Valencia, as he usually did. That summer he found it difficult to work because of the frequent storms which swept the Levante coast in August, leaving the sea “stained with red earth”, as the artist mentions in a letter to his friend Pedro Gil.Here Sorolla uses a landscape format which heightens the effect of the solitude of the woman on the beach. She seems to be waiting for someone, looking outside the painting and shading her eyes from the sun’s glare with her right hand. The dazzling sunlight throws her long dark shadow on the sand and takes on an important role in the painting, giving a very precise idea of the time of day, just before sunset. The darkening sea is getting rougher. As so often, Sorolla manages to evoke a state of mind, in this case of uneasiness, with almost no narrative, just by visual means.


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