Saturday 24th April 2021 – PRESS RELEASE with Mike Smith
On October 7th 1896, renowned Spanish artist Joaquín Sorolla visited Xàbia to seek inspiration. Writing to his wife Clotilde, he expressed the impression caused by the light, the sea and the places such as Cap de Sant Antoni, as well as the many corners and people of the town which aroused his interested. It was the beginning of an idyll that the painter shared with Xàbia and now, 125 years since that first visit to the town, the municipality wants to give something back to acknowledge the esteem that he showed it.
A logo has also been created by local design studio La Banyera that portrays the essence of the colours of Xàbia whilst combining the face of the painter with a silhouette of Cap de San Antoni.
Councillor Quico Moragues (Culture) revealed a comprehensive programme of events that will take place in the second half of the year, a special tribute to Joaquín Sorolla which also highlights his relationship with Xàbia, featuring concerts, conferences and guided routes as well as publication of 1,000 copies of a research book on Sorolla and his links with Xàbia written by historian David Gutiérrez Pulido which won the Xàbia Archive Award.
In addition, the younger members of the community will be able to learn more about this famous international painter through a special comic which will tell the story of his relationship with the town.
Sorolla will also be honoured with the installation of a life-size bronze sculpture on the port promenade whilst 14 panels with QR codes will be installed at various points where the artist painted, providing links to information on a specific section on Sorolla which will be created on the municipal website.
The councillor explained that his department has been working on a special commemorative programme for some time, a tribute that will continue in 2021 to mark the centenary of the painter’s death. The department has also received the support of the Sorolla Foundation which will provide an exhibition hosted in the Casa del Cable entitled “Sorolla en su paraíso“, a selection of photos reconstructing the painter’s creative environment as well as some snapshots of his visits to Xàbia.
Mayor José Chulvi acknowledged the great work that has been carried out by the Department of Culture over the past few months to mark this special occasion with prestigious activities that “transcend the local level”. He added that both Sorolla and renowned dressmaker Cristóbal Balenciaga – for whom a dedicated programme is being prepared for 2021 – are people with international recognition who had links with Xàbia, so these projects will be also be important in terms of promoting the town as a cultural destination.
The Sorolla programme has been planned for October to January, a period outside of the high season, and will be distributed across the three urban centres so that they are an incentive to attract visitors to Xàbia.
Finally, the mayor thanked the Sorolla Foundation for its assistance and advice as well as the actions of the business associations in the promotion of this special celebration, adding that the Sorolla project is “alive” and will include other events at an institutional level that will be announced shortly.