Sunday, April 14, 2013

Joaquín Sorolla, painter of light and water

Hedgewitch has introduced to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, a Spanish impressionist who loved to paint sunlight and water. Joaquín Sorolla, although orphaned as a child, was raised by his maternal aunt and uncle, who recognized his talent and had him educated in art from the age of eight, starting at home in Spain and eventually in Italy.

Hedgewitch suggests a short ekphrasis type of poem, perhaps haiku or another of the short poetic forms, or invites us to choose free verse up to 100 words, and she has provided ten wonderful examples of Sorolla's art.
In my own research, I found many more, and was hard-pressed to choose among the many.

For instance, the painting which set Sorolla free from the necessity of portraiture and salon art is called Triste Herencia, or "Sad Inheritance", showing crippled children bathing in the sea under the watchful eye of a monk. It made the world aware of the effects of a polio epidemic, and aware of the artist at the same time.

Sad Inheritance, 1900
The artist's wife and daughters
in the garden, 1900,
showing how he enjoyed
the play of light and shade.

Walk on the Beach, 1909.
The bright light at seaside was always one of Sorolla's favorites.

My own favorites, however, are the ones below, both of them showing mothers with infants. The tenderness of a happily married artist, with children of his own, is, to me, unmistakable in these two studies of maternal warmth.

sleeping child
watchful mother
smiling to herself
no bliss could be
as much to me
as seeing thee

I'll just
hold you,
shall I?
Before I
put you 
You might
need a
mother's touch
before dawn.

Kay Davies, April, 2012, Day 14 of the Real Toads poem-a-day challenge for April


Phillip said...

Beautiful art.

Charleen said...

Its amazing how soft and gentle both of these paintings are.

Mara said...

I have never heard of this artist, but he sure did paint some really good work. And I love your poems to accompany two of those!

hedgewitch said...

Kay, thanks for expanding on Sorolla's history for everyone--I agree it's very hard to choose among his paintings as they all are so full of life, and like you the ones with children seem especially powerful to me. You have done a lovely job with both of these--the one of the mother and child in bed is perhaps my very favorite, but the second is tender and very real. Thanks so much for participating.

aprille said...

Love what you produced from these images. And aren't they joyous?

TALON said...

Kay, like you, I was entranced by the paintings with the infants. There is something completely touching about a child interacting in quiet moments with their newborns.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Oh, yes! That last especially - unbearable to lay the first born down. (It's why my oldest daughter is so lazy to this day!)

Susie Clevenger said...

The gentle joy of motherhood. You have written it so well. And yes, thank you for expanding our knowledge about artist and art.

Anonymous said...

Kay, thanks for including so many of Sorolla's paintings. I, too, fell in love with the mom and baby in the big bed. His way with light, so gorgeous. I also like your poems: the first had a classical feel, and the second was simple and practical. Great job! Amy