Pleasant Surprises

I start my message this week with a heartfelt thank you to all of you who have supported the Selvedge World Fair Kickstarter Campaign. I have been moved by the enthusiasm for the event and your messages of encouragement. We have reached nearly 25% of our goal in the first two days, and have been inundated with offers of support in kind and volunteer applications. You can find out more about the campaign here. I ask you to please spread the word amongst your friends and family, we still have a long way to go.

Another unexpected and very pleasant surprise I have had this week is the exhibition of works Joaquín Sorolla Bastida in the National Gallery. We actually featured an article about the artist in issue 43:

Joaquín Sorolla Bastida was one of the most successful painters in Spain in the late 19th century. His style is notable for its mastery of light, from the strong, blinding light of the Mediterranean to the softer, more nebulous light of the beaches of San Sebastian and Asturias, in the north of Spain. He achieved overwhelming success not only within his country but also beyond its borders; in Paris, New York, and Chicago, where his exhibitions were well received by critics and the public alike.

Among Sorolla’s great patrons was an American Hispanist named Archer Huntington, for whom he agreed to carry out the most important commission of his career, the decoration of the Hispanic Society Library, in New York, with a series of large panels depicting the Regions of Spain.

Proceeds from this commission allowed the painter to build himself an elegant studio-home in the heart of Madrid. There he was able to work near his family with all the space and light his painting required. After his death, his widow and the great love of his life, Clotilde García del Castillo, bequeathed the house, with all of its collections, to the Spanish State on the understanding that it would be turned into a museum in memory of her late husband; today it is the Sorolla Museum.

Joaquín Sorolla’s Sewing the Sail (1896) © Photo Archive—Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia

Read the rest of The Glory of Spanish Dress by Covadonga Pitarch Angulo (translated by Alex Ross Joaquín, images courtesy of Museo Sorolla) in the Peace issue.

The National Gallery is currently showing the first UK exhibition of Sorolla's work in over a century. Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light is open until 7 July 2019.

The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN UK

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