Beginning December 13th, through April 20th, 2014, Joaquin Sorolla's enchanting paintings will be on display at the Meadows Museum of at SMU, collectively called Sorolla and America.
Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (1863-1923) first gained fame in his native Spain before becoming America's darling about a century ago. his work was seen, sold and admired in New York and Chicago by 1909. This exhibit has more than just lesser known sketches and gouache, it features some of Sorolla's most impressive and most famous work, including portraits of his wife, Clotilde, and benefactors, and even the first portrait of President Taft while in office. His proudest pieces, shining with light and reflections off the water at the beach in Valencia dominate the collection, yet his more controversial paintings are on view as well.
Of the few social issue paintings Sorolla produced, Otra Margarita! (another Marguerite) depicting a woman being transported to trial after being accused of suffocating her child, and Triste Herencia! (Sad Heredity) featuring a black-clad priest helping disabled boys enjoy the sea, both award-winning and heart-breaking masterpieces are key pieces in this exhibit. Although worthy of tears, it seems few can take their eyes or consciousness off of these two paintings. Even Sorolla, despite the praise his work received, was unable to continue to paint of such darkness, that he returned to painting beach-goers frolicking on the sea and other scenes which were so beautiful his brush could not escape them. He painted thousands of such scenes in his lifetime.
Sorolla said he was always painting, even as he spoke, as he looked at someone, as he dined. In his head, he was always painting. With his attention to light and vivacity, just as he never stopped painting, it is not likely art-lovers will ever stop admiring Sorolla's natural talent and love for the brush.
Admission to the Meadows Museum is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for students. Children under 12 are admitted free. Thursdays after 5 p.m., all admission is free.