PROPERTY FROM AN AMERICAN PRIVATE COLLECTION
Sorolla took a long trip to Andalusia with his family at the start of 1910 where his primary focus were the gardens of Seville, different areas of Granada and the beach of Malaga. After Andalusia, he also visited Avila and Burgos. During this time, he was conscious of working too much and he apologised to his wife ‘for these crazy artistic ways that in reality, mean nothing’ (2nd April 1910, Burgos).
At the start of summer, Sorolla moved his family into the hotel La Perla de Zarauz, near San Sebastián. He chose this area due to its proximity to the elegant seaside resort of San Sebastian, frequented by a wealthy clientele. Zarauz was a much more quiet town than busy San Sebastián and Biarritz, and this gave Sorolla more artistic freedom whilst still allowing him to make short trips to the nearby Guetaria, Pasajes and San Sebastián.
Painted during this summer, Puerto de Guetaria depicts boats in the port from an elevated perspective giving a quasi-bird´s eye view of the scene. This maximises the appearance of the shadows projected from the boats and the reflections of the light on the water. For Sorolla, depicting the sea and the reflections on its surface was a continuous challenge. In most of Sorolla´s paintings of the port of Valencia, the viewer´s gaze would be drawn to the boats, however, in Puerto de Guetaria, the main focus is on the water’s surface which here seems like liquid silver. Sorolla’s depictions of boats in ports were heavily inspired by Hokusai’s woodcut prints which Sorolla avidly collected.
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