Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida "Return from Fishing"

Ritorno dalla pesca

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Author/ School/ Dating:

Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (Valencia, 1863 - Cercedilla, 1923)

Technique and Dimensions:

Oil on canvas, 45 x 75 cm


Second floor, Foreigners Room (inv. no. GAM 1589)


Legacy of Luigi Frugone, 1953

Object Type:



The painting depicts a group of fishermen hauling their boat ashore after a long day at sea with the late evening sun casting long shadows. One of the figures is shown in the foreground on the right moving “out” of the canvas, this has the effect of extending the “action” beyond the limits of the canvas to create a powerful impression of the movement of the boat from the sea towards the beach and the viewer.

In the early twentieth century Sorolla's brushstroke had become looser, more rapid and more full-bodied and he constructed images by creating areas of light and shadow, with a thick and serpentine quality, prioritising splashes of colour over precise graphics.

In Return from fishing, signed and dated 1904, the artist achieves vibrant chromatic effects thanks to a palette in which ochre, blue and white chase each other in every element of the image; while the chromatic and formal balance of the composition is animated by the extensive shadow cast by the boat contrasted with the glare of the light reflected on the water, sails and the figures who are not in shadow.