The Prado Museum in Madrid is having a huge exhibition of Joaquín Sorolla until the 6th of September. With over 100 works from one of the greatest plein air painters ever, this is a show not to be missed.
I remember seeing a black and white photograph of Sorolla painting the above painting (or a version of it) on site, with a massive wooden wind-block built to protect the canvas. This type of large scale plein air work is something I think we don’t see enough of these days.
Triste Herencia was in the 1900 show at the Guggenheim a few years back and it really came off as the best piece in the show (Sorolla’s massive painting of the ladies mending the sails was a close second). The ‘sad inheritance’ is the crippling syphilis these children were born with from mothers working as prostitutes. The contrast between the joyous colors of the children’s bodies in the sun and the inky dark of the sea and priest’s robes is brilliant. Such a poignant subject matter as well, and at the time I found it interesting to be touched by the lives of these children from such a long time ago.
The Exhibition page on the Prado website.