Museo Sorrolla: An unforgettable art experience

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Museo Sorolla, settled within a rich gardenscape and behind an old-fashioned gate, is an art museum that will undoubtedly take your breath away. 

This museum showcases the work and life of Joaquín Sorolla, a renowned 19th century Spanish painter who was inspired by the subjects of his family, his home, and the works of great artists before him. 

Sorolla’s impact on the art world was significant, and it has included inspiring further painters such as Alberto Pla y Rubio and Julio Romero de Torres. In addition to Museo Sorrolla, his works are showcased in museums across the world. It is a privilege to have access to so many of his original works in such close proximity. 

As an art enthusiast, this museum astounded me. Each and every one of his pieces shows an incredible grasp of technique in multiple areas of artistry, from his gorgeous early Velázquez copies to his dramatic ventures into portraiture to his Impressionist-esque beach scenes.

Sorrolla. Niñas en la playa. 1908.

I particularly enjoyed the way that Sorolla utilizes rough, very visible brush strokes in order to create beautifully delicate scenes. He showcases this technique in his series of portraits of his family at the beach, in which he depicts women in beautifully soft lace dresses and the filmy crests of just-broken waves. It is an artistry that is truly beyond words – one must experience the works in real life to understand the beauty and care employed in each and every one of Sorrolla’s works. 

Getting to explore this museum is largely calming. It’s a quiet, uncrowded space which can be enjoyed alone or with a group. There is no time limit to your visit, so you can take as much or as little time as you wish to contemplate each painting and artifact, depending on what aspects of his art may interest you the most. The museum also offers tour guide services and self-led audio guides in Spanish, and a written guide for each room in English, Spanish, and French. 

Overall, the museum only takes about an hour and a half to get through independently – not as overwhelming as some of the larger art museums in Madrid, but still offering plenty of art to appreciate. 

Sorrolla. Busto de hombre, estudio. 1881

Not an art enthusiast? No problem! In addition to his art, this museum gives one a personal look into the life experiences of the artist Sorolla. The museum was once Sorolla’s home, but was converted into a museum in 1932, following his widow’s death. Visitors get to walk through the artist’s house, contemplate his preserved pinned butterfly collections, and even view the real paint brushes and art supplies with which he created his masterpieces. The house was designed by Sorolla himself, and all of the original furniture, decoration, and landscaping are still in place. 

Museo Sorolla is located at Paseo del General Martínez Campos, 37. It is near the Metro stations Gregorio Marañon (line 10), Iglesia (line 1), and Rubén Darío (line 5). The regular entry price is €3, but entrance is free for students with a student ID, which can be accessed via Blackboard or the IE Connects app. It is open from 9:30AM-8:00PM Tuesday through Saturday, and from 10:00AM-3:00PM on Sundays and public holidays. 

Take an afternoon to enjoy this beautiful museum and experience the art and life of this wonder-inspiring man.

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