Tuesday 26th April 2021 – PRESS RELEASE with Mike Smith
The promenade which runs along the beach of La Grava in the port will be remained Paseo Joaquín Sorolla as part of the celebrations to mark the 125th anniversary of the first visit of the famous Spanish painter to the town of Xàbia.
The board of representatives at the Council agree the dedication as one of two institutional acts within the framework of the celebrations, all members signing the declaration to initiate the necessary procedures for the promenade to renamed in honour of Sorolla, whose paintings of the town have been enjoyed both national and internationally, and helping to enhance Xàbia cultural and tourism potential. It is also planned to install a sculpture of Sorolla painting the Cap de San Antoni on the same promenade.
In addition, the board of representatives also agreed to propose that, during the year of great symbolism, the annual Premio 9 d’Octubre Vila de Xàbia be award to the Fundación Museo Sorolla for its help, advice and collaboration in all the activities which are being prepared by Xàbia Council as a tribute to the artist and for its rigorous and dedicated work to promote the painter through its management of the Museo Sorolla in Madrid and its research projects, documentation, conservation and dissemination of collections in which Xàbia has always had a space and mention.
According to the institutional declaration:
On October 7th, 1896, Joaquín Sorolla Bastida visited Xàbia for the first time looking for inspiration for a pictorial commission on the world of wine. The artist was impressed by its light, its great nature and the color of its sea.
Sorolla not only found in Xàbia the enlightenment he sought, but a paradise to return to and share with those closest to him. Proof of this is that he returned three times, two of them accompanied by his family.
His impressions, which have transcended and survive to this day thanks to the letters he wrote to his wife Clotilde, could be considered genuine tourist attractions of the 19th century, with the added value of being signed by an internationally renowned artist.
His relationship with Xàbia left more than a hundred works of art that have taken the essence of the population to the best museums and the most prestigious exhibition halls around the world.
So much so that the Council considers Sorolla as “one of the first and best ambassadors we have had internationally.”
October 7th, 2021 marks 125 years since that first meeting between Sorolla and Xàbia, a symbolic date in which this Council wants to pay tribute to him and undertake various initiatives – both in terms of cultural programming and presence in public spaces – to that the personal and artistic connection that it had with the municipality lasts in history.