The Wounded Foot 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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Joaquin Sorolla was a Spanish painter and excelled in monumental, landscapes, and portraits works of historical and social themes. Most of his works were characterized by a skillful representation of landscape and people under Spain's sun bright and sunlit water.

Like other impressionists before his times, Sorolla opted to work outdoors rather than in the studio in order to capture the momentary special effects of water, light, and people in motion. While on the Valencia beach, Sorolla rapidly painted a set of paintings, including the famous picture of the "The Wounded Feet." Sorolla created the "Wounded foot' in 1909 in the Impressionism style. In a well-thought sketch, this painting has casual snapshot-like cropping, that cuts off the child's foot at the left, giving the viewer a sense of immediacy. The portrait represents the hurt foot as if it has happened in an unplanned exchange between the two children on the sand. The highlight of the sun on the child's hurt limb, her companion's hat, and the sand around her legs draw the attention of the viewer to the injured foot.

The late afternoon light, reflect with color and animate the scene of the beach, and actively defining the forms from the figures playing in the water, to the liquid sea and the injured child's shoulder. Sorolla used oil brushes and oil paints to do his painting on extensive canvas material. It's evidence that the artist has mastered his brushstrokes, as seen in his painting technique. He was known for his radiant color palette and confident brush strokes. Sorolla loved to paint from life and, if possible, from empathetic scenes of everyday life.

He was influenced by the Impressionists who were his contemporaries and he absorbed their separate use of brushstrokes and the use of color they applied to maintain spontaneity. However, he considered himself to be closer to the impressionism technique than his contemporaries, such as Anders Zorn, John Singer Sargent, and Whistler. The vigorous brushstrokes, sharp contrasts of light and shade that marked the beach scenes, and the dazzling sunlight on water inspired him.

Sorolla's influenced several Spanish painters, such as Julio Romero de Torres and Alberto Play Rubio, who were described as "sorollista." He built a house in 1911 where he lived until his death in 1923. The family bequeathed the house to create a gallery and museum to preserve all his painting work. The museum was opened in 1932. His work is also represented in museums all over America, Europe, Spain, and other private collections in America and Europe.