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The Children on the Beach is one of the most iconic paintings by Joaquin Sorolla. Joaquin was a naturally talented artist born in 1863 in Valencia and spent all his life in doing art. He became outstanding in painting landscapes, portraits, and monumental works of historical and social themes.
During his period, his enviable talent for painting was made known to American painters. He was inspired by several Spanish masters, especially El Greco and Diego Velazquez, whom he copied painting techniques. Amongst his most favourite themes, he dedicated his paintings to the landscapes of the Eastern coast of Spain, with a remarkable light and human presence. Children on the Beach was painted in 1910. Sorolla signed a contract where he painted a series of paintings regarding life in Spain, and he made 14 murals that decorated the institutes’ rooms in the Hispanic Society of America. Since Sorolla was young, he had an outstanding interest in open-air paintings. He spent most of his time travelling in Spain and making works and sketches of customs and landscapes. He dedicated his oil paintings to women and children in the Valencian beaches. This enabled him to plan the Children on The Beach artwork.
Sorolla was a great painter and a master of impressionism style. He ensured that he transmitted sunlight effects in his paintings, and he achieved it, with the incredible ease for people to admire the children on the Beach. He showed the impressionism, and made his pictures look real, displaying him as a painter with a characteristic personal style. However, he didn’t want to be called an impressionist though his work could reveal that he was.
Sorolla presents his skills in painting the image using canvas as the material and oil as the medium. During his time, the most used media of painting was canvas and oil. The Children on the Beach, shows three boys in a crystalline beach. These children are naked and are lying face down on the mud. Part of their skin touches the water and are in different positions. One of the boys looks younger than the others, with a pale and blond skin, and is facing the other boys while leaning on his elbow. The other two boys are dark-haired and dark-skinned, respectively. The dark-haired boy is looking at the first boy smiling, and the last one is on a different scene.
The pale-skinned boy is less sunken on the mud than the other two children. His finger-feet, soles, gluteus, leg-muscles, and his back look more strained than those of the other boys whose bodies are dimmer. Sorolla's skill of capturing quick brush-strokes that have refined colours is evidenced in this painting. Similarly, with his remarkable talent, he made the shadows beneath the children, similar to the reflected naked bodies on the water. He also fixed the blue touches of water and the glitters of the sky on the sand. Sorolla gave this painting to the National Museum of Modern Art in 1919, before he died later in 1923. The Children on the Beach belongs to a series of paintings that he did in Spain on the Valencia coast over twenty years. This painting is currently in the El Prado Museum. This painting was exposed during the USA exhibition, with other paintings like Idyll on the Sea. These paintings contributed to the success of Sorolla in the Western part of the Atlantic.