Monday, May 9, 2016

MUNICH 2016 - II

Leave the sunbathers and Odeonplatz behind, and slip into the cool modern Kunsthalle München now holding a marvellous Joaquin Sorolla retrospective. Joaquin who? You'd not the first non-Spaniard to ask. He has his own gallery in Madrid.

Straddling the turn of the Century (1863 - 1923), orphaned by cholera, this beautiful painter is nicked "Spain's Master of Light". Early realism nudges the impressionism of the new century but not its cubist deconstructionism - there's a humanist beauty and depth of empathy in every exquisite detail, as he tells of the people, the sea, his family, and children, especially the children. And none so arresting as the deformed children of syphilitic parents shepherded into the sea - cleansed of apprehensions, gravity washed away - it's called Sad Inheritance - and now I find I was so stunned by it that the phone camera stayed in my pocket. A faint shadow of its impact is here. Unusually, the water in this painting was dark and cold, even unwelcoming, unlike the usual shimmer of sun and shallows, and that in itself seems to enhance the exhilaration and joy of these reticents.

I'll revisit this exhibition before we leave. These glimpses should give some idea as to why.

                                       (the oxen are helping pull the fishermen and their boat ashore)

(a small section of 'the skipping rope')

That last painting was especially affecting with its innocence and nudity of the like our local puritans would take to with felt pens and faux christian ideals, and the gentleman staring at it was so transfixed that in the 15 minutes (at least) that I was in the room in which it hung he didn't for a second take his eyes off it, only changing perspective.

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