Maria at La Granja Joaquin Sorolla Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Maria at La Granja by Joaquin Sorolla is an oil on canvas portrait in impressionism style. The painting's dimensions are 85 x 170 cm and it is held in the San Diego Museum of Art.

The work was produced in 1907 in Spain. The artist is well known for paintings of women and children, often at the seaside, and this portrait at the seashore is typical of his work. The picture is a full length portrait of a standing woman in a long summer dress and summer hat on a sunny day. In the background is deep green shrubbery and sand lit by the sun. The woman is almost in profile, gazing away from the artist, and it feels as if she is making quite an effort to remain still for the portrait. Her hat is a typical sunhat, beige, almost straw coloured, with black ribbon and a bow, she is dressed modestly from head to toe, with no skin showing, even her hands and arms are encased in long white gloves. There is no showing off of skin or body, even her dress encases her neck in a long turtleneck collar, presumably to protect her from the Spanish summer sunshine.

The subject wears a thoughtful and almost amused expression, but with the air of trying to be patient for the painter. Her hair is short or tied back and dark in colour, framing her face and reaching to the top of the long neck collar, her complexion isn't particularly spanish dark but more of an English look, with pink glow showing through. You can see one of her ears as it isn't hidden by hair, and her eyes are dark, her lips and eyebrows carefully made up, she obviously cares about her appearance.

The subject has a beautiful white dress, puffed and flared at the sleeves and bustle with a glimpse of under layer or even bare arm under the sleeves and a faint pattern under the bustle. The sleeves aren't full length and stop where the gloves start, and the the upper half of the dress ends at a white sash round her middle, clasped in a big decorative gold clasp. She carries something in her right hand, although it is unclear what it is, perhaps an umbrella or sun parasol. Her hands are loosely to her hips, and to her left side the sash floats. The long flowing dress reaches down to her brown laced boots. This is a stunning piece of a pretty woman, well-dressed and well-groomed, it would make any subject proud to see themselves portrayed so beautifully.