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Spanish painter Joaquín Sorolla was a keen observer of the life and styles of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Sorolla was fascinated by fashion, and the way women presented themselves at the seaside, in their homes, in cafes and on city streets; his letters home to his wife from his sojourns in Paris report on new trends and the dresses he was going to bring home for her and his daughters.
Sorolla's interest in fashion is obvious in his work, even when it is not ostensibly his subject; the women who appear in his canvases―bathed in flickering light and registered in loose, dynamic brushstrokes―present an evocative catalog of the day's trends in dress, jewelry and accessories. Gossamer sashes blowing in sea air, dizzyingly delicate lace embroidery, and pleated bodices―Sorolla captured a sumptuous parade of styles in his paintings.
Lavishly produced and richly illustrated, Sorolla and Fashion brings together paintings by the artist and a selection of related clothing from the period. Including works drawn from public and private collections in Spain and abroad, this volume focuses on the female portraits that the artist executed between 1890 and 1920―from intimate pictures of his family to more formal portrait commissions.
Spanish painter Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (1863–1923) has been called the "painter of light" for the shimmering, luminous quality of his large-scale Impressionist paintings of contemporary social life. Traveling between Spain, Paris and the United States throughout his career, Sorolla combined an academic training, attention to the quality of daily life in his native Valencia and an awareness of international art trends in his work.