On a recent trip to the Meadows Museum in Dallas to see a wonderful exhibit of more than 160 works of art by Joaquin Sorolla, I found a Velasquez….There I was wandering from room to glorious room soaking in the skill of masterfully painted beach scenes, deftly rendered sketches of patrons in a restaurant, beautiful portraits of Louis Comfort Tiffany, Christopher Columbus and Sorolla’s family when I stumbled into a room filled with different works. Previous rooms had all the expected signs describing the works before me. Sorolla quotes were on the walls providing a glimpse into the man, his methods, his philosophies, but here there were no helpful hints. Very strange. These pieces were obviously not part of the exhibit, but I had driven 5 hours to be in this museum, and I wasn’t going to skip anything. I started looking through the anonymous images and stumbled on the one above. I thought, “Now this is a good piece. I wonder who the artist is?” I liked the green-gray ground of the canvas. It looked really nice against the pinks in the skin. I liked the contrast of the dark hair against a lit section of the background, while the face in strong profile was paired with darkness. It struck me that the profile was in shadow, but look how much light is in that shadow. Very nice. Surely there is some information on this piece. Then I noticed it, a booklet on a bench identifying each piece and giving some details about the works. Velasquez! Can I pick’em or what! The title of the piece is Sibyl with Tabula Rasa. It is an unfinished, oil on canvas dating to 1648. I will likely visit this museum again, and to top it all off, I was told that this piece (owned by the Meadows Museum) is headed to Paris for a Velasquez exhibit at the Louvre. So if you want to see the Sorolla exhibit or this wonderful Velasquez without fighting the crowd of the Louvre, visit soon.
To hear more about the Sorolla exhibit and get a glimpse of some of the wonderful paintings I saw, click here.