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Sorolla in the Sewing workshop

The Thyssen and the painter's museum confront more than 70 works of the artist in costumes that show the new fashion for women who became emancipated at the turn of the century

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Sorolla in the Sewing workshop

There was not a day when out on street suddenly women dress trousers without complexes. It took a long transition to go slackening corsets and shedding of miriñaques; Long and not exempt from social torture. The only gesture of splitting skirt to be able to ride a bicycle prevented entrance to more than one in some decent people's club. But that road has already gone. On horseback between nineteenth and twentieth centuries, modernity came with fashion: skirts were shortened, dresses were baggy and untered, workshops designed clos for a new woman, more dynamic and unwrapped, adventurous and activist that same claimed Female suffrage that prescindía of hat in a gesture of freedom conquered. Yes, new fashion and female emancipation made a good marriage.

More information
  • The Splendor of Sorolla
  • Sorolla is always in fashion

And what does Sorolla look like in all this? A lot. Privileged observer of those changes that operated in great cities of World, Paris, London, new York, painter moved to his canvases with mastery of a good tailor glitter of Velvet, transparencies of tulle, softness of felt and Summer freshness of Twills and cottons. In his portraits to ladies of high society (those classes for which all revolutions begin), artist (Valencia, 1863-Cercedilla, Madrid, 1923) did not save on gauze, trimmings, sequins, straw hats and fears, parasols and buckle shoes Diamond.

Sorolla and fashion, this is title of exhibition that brings toger more than seventy canvases from museums and collections from around world — some of m have hardly been exposed in public — with vintage dresses that are preserved in prestigious galleries and institutions , such as Victoria Albert of London, Museu Tèxtil de Terrassa or Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris. From tomorrow until May 27th, se jewels of fashion and valuable accessories will accompany large-format portraits where Valencian unleashed his great passion: fashion. Although Thyssen exposes large part of material, visit will not be complete without approaching Sorolla museum, located in Madrid House of painter, where some of se mannequins look for ir mirror in oils that never hang from those walls. The lovers of Sorolla will be able to enjoy in this seat of a seldom exposed painting, Amalia Romea, Lady of Church, a subtlety of gauzes and ofnations that incite to touch.

"Modernity was coming to Europe, women no longer needed a maid to be stuffed in those impossible dresses, were arranged and left shopping alone and Sorolla echoes all that, paints an empowered and modern woman," says curator of This exhibition, Eloy Martínez de la Pera, which qualifies painter as first personal shopper. In his travels, Sorolla is thrilled with changes in dress he watches, and sends letters to his wife, Clotilde Garcia del Castillo, who adores, with sketches of hats he has seen, dresses, new necks and accessories. On ir return home will come gifts for her and her daughters, Maria and Elena, who will wear latest fashion in Paris, London Oxford Street and New York workshops — it is to be thought that son, Joaquín, would also bring him some present —.

Enlarge photo One of Sorolla's letters with several models of hats drawn. INMA FLORES

They all posed for him, clotilde to exhaustion and always with a serene look of great lady in ir gardens: Clotilde in gray suit, Clotilde in black dress, Clotilde in evening gown.

They have also been selected for this show portraits he made to great American ladies, bourgeois of new York whose fortunes grew at same rate as buildings were rising; Spanish royalty, Alfonsos and Maria Cristinas, also went through ir brushes.

Not by acquaintances, Sorolla's strokes will stop fascinating visitor, but it is difficult to escape attraction caused by models chosen to accompany each painting. It's fashion turned into art. "Hundreds of people have worked for a year and a half to restore, with surgeon precision, sequins and lace," explains technical Commissioner Paula Luengo. We had to look for those models that most resembled one portrayed by Sorolla, and y have achieved it, thus giving veracity to moment of dazzling design that was experienced at time. The dresses have practically same date as paintings and y seem to be out of m. Sorolla was portraying change of life with realism of a photographer.

The Marks

For wealthy, and Sorolla was, those years of Belle Époque were happy. Art and fashion embraced and designers vindicated ir share. Charles F. Worth is architect of this transition to personal creativity: he wants his creations to have ir own name and stamp his signature, for example, in that pink silk, cotton, metal and satin dress that is exhibited at Thyssen, now belonging to collection Francisco Zambrana, from Málaga. The marks started.

But jewel of crown is Delphos dress, designed towards 1920 by Mariano Fortuny and Madrazo, inspired by Greek robes, which fell on body of woman without ties. With him, and without underwear, Isadora Duncan danced, who laid a foundation for modern dance, and was looked upon by Peggy Guggenheim, Great American collector and patron. Sorolla gave it to his daughter in yellow color and portrayed it as well. The new woman was being born and change of skin left a trail of Polisones and miriñaques that so long prevented him from riding modernity.

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