Summer Days
From Sorolla to Hopper

28 March - 6 September 2015
Mariano Fortuny

Nude Boy on the Beach at Portici

ca. 1874 Oil on panel, 7.5 x 13 cm San Telmo Museoa, Donostia
Nude Boy on the Beach at Portici
Cecilio Pla

Las Arenas Beach

ca. 1924-1925 Oil on card, 14,5 x 24 Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection on deposit at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Las Arenas Beach
Joaquín Sorolla

To the Water

1908 Oil on canvas, 81 x 106 cm Fundación Bancaja Collection
Al agua
Paul Cézanne

Les grands baigneurs

ca. 1898 Colour lithograph on paper,
42.6 x 52.4 cm
Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao
Les grands baigneurs


The medical theories that disseminated the benefits of the coastal climate and sea bathing in the mid-1800s gave a new meaning to the sea. Aside from the logical fascination it continued to hold as a landscape and its depiction as a context for fishermen’s work, it also became a subject for paintings featuring bathing establishments, sea baths and naked children in a playful context unrestricted by social and moral conventions and constraints.

Eschewing a genre approach, avant-garde artists also turned to bathers as a subject in their search for a new type of figurative art and their exploration of its relationship with space.