Back with the Andalucians he ‘couldn’t stand’: Sorolla at the Alhambra

LAST UPDATED: 25 Aug, 2012 @ 08:12
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Back with the Andalucians he ‘couldn’t stand’: Sorolla at the Alhambra

HE once wrote to his wife to say he was going to go to bed early because he couldn’t stand the Andalucians.

But now Joaquin Sorolla is returning to Granada. An exhibition of the Valencia painter’s work inspired by Andalucia’s Arabic palaces is going on display in the Alhambra’s Palacio de Carlos V.

Sorolla initially travelled to Sevilla in 1908 with a commission to paint Alfonso XIII, ‘and had a terrible time,’ explained the exhibition’s curator, Tomas Llorens. He hated the bullfights, and the flamenco made him dizzy.

“He wrote to his wife that he was going to go to bed early because he couldn’t stand the Andalucians.” But when he ‘discovered’ the Alcazar and later the Alhambra, he became captivated with Andalucia beginning to paint patios, marble, ceramics, ponds and columns.

Now, the Jardines de Luz (Gardens of Light) reveals a collection of 50 oil paintings, more than two-thirds on loan from the Sorolla Museum, arranged in seven sections.

The exhibition, which was originally meant to be displayed in Ferrara in Italy but had to be closed after an earthquake struck the region, runs until October 14.

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  1. Wish I’d known. I spent an entire morning in the Alhambra last week: the gardens, the Generalife and the Palacio de los Nazaries, but unfortunately didn’t have time to visit the Palacio de Carlos V (which I regard as a monstrosity of a building anyway, erected as it was in the midst of such delicate beauty). Having lived in Valencia for many years I am quite familiar with Joaquin Sorolla’s work and his exceptional treatment of the light in his paintings. In his time he was regarded as the world’s foremost artist. Ah well, my loss.

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