Sorolla Apuntes

Armand Cabrera

In my opinion, Joaquin Sorolla was one of the greatest painters of the early twentieth century. While I know many readers are familiar with his formal and finished works I thought it would be interesting to post some of his sketches or apuntes as they were called in Spanish. These were quick small notes used as reference for his larger works. Most were painted on cardboard and were 3×5 to 12×16 inches.

These are in the catalog from the show in Spain at the Sorolla Museum. The catalogue is in Spanish but contains 1283 images, most in color of these sketches as well as his larger finished works.


Catalogo de Pintura
Del Museo Sorolla

5 thoughts on “Sorolla Apuntes

  1. just love Sorolla's work and these are a fascinating unique insight into his thoughts. thank you for bringing these to our attention on the blog and Happy New Year to you also 🙂

  2. These are wonderful. I'm glad I stumbled across this post. A question about cardboard (if you know): how similar is the cardboard he used to what we call "cardboard" today? Is either/both very archival? Does it require any special preparation for oil painting?


  3. Tom,

    Thanks for asking. I don't know about Sorolla in particular but I have seen pieces from the same time frame and it is not corrugated like most cardboard today. It is more like heavy illustration board which is layered together.

    Most painters would shellac it to paint on. If I remember my chemistry correctly though the acid in the pulp of the board would eventually eat away at it.

    Even today painting on illustration board is not archival and is not recommended for oils by any of the manufacturers making it.

  4. Sorolla father in law was a photographer. Some of the sketches were painted on photographs. That is on the gelatin. Shiny, zero absorption. Colors remain super brilliant. You can also paint on shellac.

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