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Strolling Along The Seashore

Painting, 1909, 205×200 cm

Description of the artwork «Strolling Along The Seashore»

Strolling Along The Seashore is the main exhibit of the Sorolla Museum, organized in the Madrid house of the painter. The canvas did not leave the mansion since 1911, when the latter was built.

In the painting, Sorolla depicted his wife Clotilda and his elder daughter Maria. His family members, his wife and three children, were the favourite models of the artist, he painted them on many portraits and genre paintings (1, 2, 3, 4). Strolling Along The Seashore is the most famous of these works.

Sorolla worked on the canvas in Valencia in 1909. He has just returned to Spain from America, where he had gained a great success with his personal exhibitions in New York, Buffalo and Boston, and created about 20 portraits, including then US President Taft.

The money raised allowed Sorolla to start building his own house in Madrid, where he had lived for 20 years. However, it would be a little later. Most of the summer and early autumn, the artist spent in his hometown. During this period, he created a series of bright canvases, three of which are considered classic: Boys on the BeachThe Horse's Bath and the work at issue, Strolling Along The Seashore.

In the picture, we see two ladies, who slowly walk along the coast before sunset. They are graceful, they wear elegant white dresses and fashionable shoes. Their look is roofed with beige hats decorated with flowers, and a white umbrella in the hands of the older woman (Clotilde).

The plot of the canvas is very different from other works by the artist, depicting the seashore. He often explored the relationship between man and nature, i.e. the sea; the characters of his canvases were Valencian fishermen or children playing in water (1, 2). Sorolla painted landscapes less often. In this case, we have a picture of the so-called "walking along the embankment" genre. On it, a new kind of leisure for the Spanish aristocracy and bourgeoisie of the early 20th century was revealed.

The work is characterized by compositional courage. Like many other paintings of this period, Sorolla takes the horizon beyond the canvas. Moreover, he partially "cuts off" the woman's hat on the left, using the photographic cropping principle. Water (the long strokes of blue, turquoise and purple) and sand (the loose beige and blue strokes, with a little white) serve only as a frame for two elegant figures. At the same time, the details of the women's outfit and the umbrella become important structural elements of the composition. The chiffon, waving in the breeze, emphasizes the transience of the moment. Using grey, blue and lilac colours, the artist masterfully showed light and shade on white dresses.

It is rather difficult to attribute the Strolling Along The Seashore to any style. Although Sorolla is considered a Spanish Impressionist, some researchers attribute this picture to Post-Impressionism. One thing is certain: the creative freedom of the unique artist was fully manifested in the bright colourful canvas, filled with vitalism.

Author: Larysa Kuzora
I like77 To the selection59
About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Genre scene

Style of art: Impressionism, Luminism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1909

Size: 205×200 cm

Artwork in selections: 59 selections

Exhibitions history