On Wednesdays, I am fortunate enough to only have three classes at the school, which means that I finish work at 11:15 a.m.
Needless to say, Wednesdays are my favourite school days…
The first few weeks of the school year, I ended up wasting my half-day off by hanging out at home or doing something thrilling like the grocery shopping, but last week, I decided that I should expand my mind with more worthwhile activities (Oh dear. That sounds insufferably affectacious). I was at a bit of a loss as to what I could do, but then I remembered that on the way to the station, I pass a couple of small museums, and so I decided that Wednesday afternoon would be my Official Museum Visiting Time.
Today was Day One of my new Wednesday ritual, and I went to the Sorolla Museum. Here’s their website.
Joaquín Sorolla was a Spanish painter (interesting aside- well, interesting for me!-Joaquín is my absolute favourite Spanish boys’ name) and after his and his wife’s deaths, his house and artworks were left to the state on the proviso that they be turned into a museum.
The museum is absolutely amazing, because it’s a perfectly preserved early 20th century house, surrounded on all sides by ugly apartment blocks, and with a main road right out the front (thankfully, the house is shielded by a beautiful garden).
Inside, it’s like a time warp, because all the furniture is original, and they’ve tried to leave it as it was when Sorolla died in 1923.
One of the most interesting rooms is the studio. The walls are covered in Sorolla’s pictures, and the unfinished canvas that he was working on when he died is still there, with the paints and brushes laid out in front. It looks as if it is still being completed, and the artist has just nipped out for a break.
To be honest, I didn’t know anything about Sorolla’s art before I decided to visit the museum. From looking around the house, it seems that he mainly focussed on landscapes and portraits, using oils. It was really interesting to see that the faces in a lot of the portraits were being reworked, so I’m guessing that he mightn’t have felt so confident in trying to capture likenesses. This was comforting, and now I don’t feel so bad about desperately trying to avoid drawing faces in Year 10 art!
Of the completed portraits, I especially liked two, a self-portrait Sorolla had painted for his wife, and the other of his daughter. The self-portrait says “To my Clotilde, Joaquín” down the bottom, which is think is lovely.
So, this was my first educational Wednesday excursion. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep it up! Madrid is full of small museums, so I don’t think I’ll run out of possibilities in the time I’m here 🙂