Joaquín Sorolla (1863-1923), End of the Day, Jávea, 1900, oil on canvas, 88 x 128 cm, Private collection.
Joaquín Sorolla was one of the greatest natural painters of his generation. Prolific and popular, working on a wide range of subjects – genre, portraits and landscapes – his impressionist style marked by luminous colouring and vigorous brushwork earned him a considerable reputation throughout Europe and America.
In End of the Day, Jávea, the deep red shadows on this side of a sun-trapped cove are so expertly rendered that you could almost step into the frame – it is more real and convincing than a photograph. At his best Sorolla evokes tactile existence wonderfully – sun on skin, sea waves lapping on a fisherman’s calves, the sweat of a workday, the dazzle of a gorge in oleander shade with its dust and insects. End of the Day, Jávea shows a carefully selected part of a busy scene, it is easy to imagine what might have been going on in the other directions the artist could have turned his head. DH