"It is the joy that Sorolla puts in his paintings that makes his light so irresistible." -Duncan Philips
My mom and I had a lovely day strolling around Madrid, beginning with a breakfast at Café Azul before walking around to all my favorite spots in the neighborhood, including Sol, Plaza Mayor, and Mercado de San Miguel (along with all the little shops and sights that aren't tourist traps). But one of the coolest things we did today was visit the Joaquin Sorolla museum, which is in his former home in Madrid. It was a stunning sight in itself, not considering the artwork inside yet. A gorgeous home with beautiful front gardens that welcomes visitors warmly. Once inside, though, the paintings took over as the spectacle of the museum. His style is breathtaking. he paints in such a soft, delicate impressionist way with the most beautiful and calming colors. He is so famous for his depiction of light and shadow, and the museum featured a temporary exhibit focusing on his use of shadow in his works that really showcased his ability to capture the contrast between light and dark. I've never seen color come to life the way it does in some of these works. Pastels swirl throughout the canvas, functioning perfectly against one another and mixing beautifully to create the most stunning scenes. So many paintings were beach scenes that they made me long for a coastal escape. Though his paintings do not have much meaning (for this reason my art history professor does not like Sorolla) I found his work to be some of the best I've seen since getting to Madrid. But it's all a matter of opinion, and a practicing artist will always admire the technique more than an art critic will, so I understand where he comes from when he says he's bored by Sorolla's work. The whole museum was a lovely experience and I'm so happy I got to walk through it with my mom! We finished our day with a lovely dinner of scallops (served beautifully inside the shells!), salad, and white wine, then enjoyed one more drink in Carmen's studio before heading to bed in our nice hotel. Off to Rome bright and early tomorrow! Arrivederci!