Valencian Sorolla, is amongst the finest Spanish artists in history and this impact is marked by the presence of a Museum devoted to his work in the Spanish capital. His paintings were connected to his native Valencia through the use of its seascape within many of his most famous paintings. He made use of the abundant light that enveloped this region for much of the year. Life was simple during this time, a day at the seaside with your family was about as good as it got - and what a great time it was that could be had! Children run, bathe and play together is some enchanting scenes which fill many of the highlights of his career. Away from these seascapes were his intimate portraits, another genre in which he naturally found himself. Clotilde in a Grey Dress is a stunning piece, depicting an honest facial expression of a beautiful woman who appears happy to pose for the picture, but without a single element of arrogance. There is a true comfort in her eyes.
Naturally, she would indeed appear relaxed, as she was the artist's wife. Additionally, this beautiful woman would model for her husband on many occasions, with this depiction perhaps being the most impressive. Sorolla painted his wife and childen many times, pointing to an individual who was particularly connected to them, on an emotional level. Whilst you would normally assume this, not all artists have followed this path. Some others have found other sources of inspiration and kept their nearest and dearest very much in the background. Clotilde, herself, looks stunning in a full length dress that covers her from the neck down to the toes, in keeping with fashion from Spain during this period. Her shoulders and top half are given pleated touches, whilst the lower half is simply presented. She adorns a simple white belt across her midrift, with a small metal buckle.
This is a scene which depicts a wife as classical and classy. The artist deliberately keeps content in the room to a minimum. She leans on a carved wooden chair, with a small screen behind her. She looks happy and contented. On viewing the beauty of this picture, one immediately is intriguied to see the artist's other depictions of his wife. We have included a larger image below of the overall painting as well as a cropped part in detail which allows you to see the face of the model up close - she looks truly beautiful, and this also helps us to appreciate just how much detail when into this work. The background suggests this may have been an artistic studio and several photographs uncovered from the family's possessions were composed in a similar way to this painting. Clotilde is featured in a number of other portraits from his career.