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Spring; Autumn, Emilio Sala

Spring; Autumn, Emilio Sala

Inv. No. CE4/00345, CE4/00346

This oil painting on canvas by Emilio Sala (1850-1910) used to hang by the entrance to the cafe El León de Oro in Valencia.

It is a symbolic representation of Spring and is part of a pair; the other matching canvas represents Autumn.

This is a particularly interesting canvas as it clearly demonstrates that Emilio Sala was influenced by the highly detailed style of Fortuny. It suggests a very early example of the fascination for Luminism among many Valencian artists, of which Joaquin Sorrolla was the leading exponent.

The canvas shows a beautiful young girl walking through the countryside picking flowers. The girl is looking directly towards the viewer with a gentle expression. This is a good example of the kind and benign image of femininity that Emilio Sala chose to represent in his work.

‘El Otoño’ (Autumn) also shows a beautiful young girl in an orchard with rose bushes. The girl is looking directly at the viewer, but because she is being dazzled by bright sunlight, she protects her eyes with her hand. This gesture was a technique used by Joaquin Sorolla in many of his paintings. It is possible that he acquired it through observing this painting by Sala, as he regularly visited El León de Oro, where this canvas was on display. In the National Ceramics Museum there is a collection of four canvases by Ignacio Pinazo, which had also been on display at the cafe El León de Oro. They are currently in the Sala Pinazo.

Items displayed in the Smoking Room, first floor.

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