The least-known side of Sorolla

The least-known side of Sorolla
/ Salvador Salas
  • The Fundación Unicaja has just opened a new exhibition of more than 100 works by this artist who is normally known for his seaside themes

It is an exhibition which aims to show the least-known side of Joaquín Sorolla, an artist who is famous for his use of light, the colour white and the sea. 'Sorolla tierra adentro', which can be seen at the Centro Cultural Fundación Unicaja de Malaga (formerly the Palacio Episcopal) until 30 January, is the first exhibition to take place under the agreement by which the Fundación Unicaja will run the centre until the end of 2021.

Through the works of Sorolla, this exhibition takes visitors on a journey through inland Spain from north to south in a variety of styles, from the more realist 'Tipos de Guipúzcoa' (1912) to the almost impressionist 'Paisaje de San Sebastián'(1911), interspersed with Asturian landscapes and miniatures such as 'Tormenta sobre Peñalosa' (1906) and 'El baño de la reina' (1907).

There is an obvious difference in the paintings, the further south the artist brought his palette. In Andalucía he combined countryside and cities, particularly Granada, and reflected the vivid colours of the Mediterranean region.

The final room of the exhibition is full of surprises, with intense red walls, desert landscapes giving way to human figures and more small and medium-size works.

This display is very obviously Sorolla. Everything one would expect is there: light, colour, life. This is still the Sorolla we know, yet at the same time very different.