The surface and painterly technique of the present lot reflects the strong influence of French Impressionism in the later works of Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, but with one prominent and unmistakable difference - the artist's prominent use of the colour black. Boats painted with a thick black impasto glide through the harbour water, the liquidity of which is remarkable, given the thick gestural paint that Sorolla has applied.
Light plays on the water and against the sun-drenched walls of Venice, a city which was ideally suited to Sorolla's artistic mission: exploring the changing effects of light under the broadest possible range of conditions. The artist has masterfully captured the myriad patterns created by the interwearing of architecture, water, and light, capturing the immediacy of the moment with rapid brushstrokes. The composition allows for the soft tonal gradation between stone walls, sea and sky; the wall and the shadow it casts over the water draw the viewer into the harbour life of the city.
We are grateful to Blanca Pons Sorolla for confirming the authenticity of this work which is sold with a certificate dated April 2008.