A few weekends ago I had the pleasure of visiting my colleague, fellow travel blogger and great friend Sarah’s family home in Madrid. Along with basking in the late September sun and dipping into the pool, she took us around her favourite spots in the city. After an early hours expedition to 7-storey superclub Kapital we pottered over to the artist oasis of Museo Sorolla.
Valencian Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida was a late 19th and early 20th century painter of portraits and landscapes reflecting everyday life at the time. His subjects were frequently close friends and family in relaxed settings and activities including in their private residences and on vacation. His work reminded me of the John Sargent exhibition at The National Gallery a few months ago, which makes sense as the two were contemporaries and friends.
The Sorolla Museum is more than just a stuffy gallery – it’s the artist’s residence and studio retained in the original style. The grounds feature statues and fountains, creating a relaxing environment to sit and relax. We mused that in our alternative lives of living in the year long sun of Madrid we’d come here to relax or read on lazy days.
Along with the pretty yellow terracotta colour, parts of the exterior feature beautiful painted tiles featuring religious symbolism and colourful produce.
Inside there are two main orange rooms that were used as Sorolla’s gallery and studio, featuring many of his famous paintings. The second room is double height, with paintings placed across the walls as they were during his time – I love this ‘collage’ style you sometimes see in galleries and stately homes, you feel completely absorbed within the art.
Elsewhere in the building you can explore the residential areas, including hand painted walls and ceramics. I really loved the gold tinted ornamental bureaus.
Museo Sorolla is located on Paseo del General Martínez Campos – it’s a great option for those on a budget with a entrance fee of €3, or free after 2pm on saturdays and all day sunday.