As a designer, I always seek out something with the goal of eliciting an emotion.
I grew up between canvases and oil colors. This poetic stimulus that surrounded me created my artistic vein. I have always looked at artists for great inspiration, from Velázquez, who I am certain may be a relative of mine (Velázquez is my surname), to the most remote, anonymous graffiti artist in the streets. No matter the style or artist, art is free. It is free. It is whatever you want it to be.
Art can inspire. It can calm or set the mood. But this requires an understanding of the art and artist.
From their technique to their color choices, each part of a masterpiece is intentional. This is how I approach my designs – inspired by what I see and experience, with a strong understanding of what my clients want and need. Art is the catalyst for something so much bigger.
Influenced by Sorolla
In my master’s studies in Europe, I remember being in Madrid and visiting “La casa de la Luz” for the first time. This is the house of Joaquin Sorolla, who was a Spanish painter who began painting outdoors, allowing himself to be invaded by the light and color of the Mediterranean.
His house in Madrid is a time capsule, with his works and furniture dating all the way back to the 19th century and into the golden years of the 1900s. It is an oasis, an escape – in the middle of the city – from the garden, which is part of his personal work to his infinite paintings, inspirations, and the love letters he used to write to his wife, Clotilde. He exemplified the fact that all creation is art and it is all fodder for more, and different, and better design.
I was shocked by the art found in that house.
Sorolla’s soul is transmitted in every step you take. I saw it; I felt it; I was transformed by the energy of the space and the art. I was overcome by emotion and driven to tears.
His style is characteristic of the impressionist technique and conception, always emphasizing the human figure, natural lights, and landscape that surrounded him where reflections, shadows, transparencies, and colors are transfigured in his paintings.
A destination of inspiration
Every time I go to Madrid, I visit Sorolla’s house to recharge and experience that energy that was his art and his home. A place with an arsenal of inspiration, from the gardens to the most hidden object. A place where we can appreciate, not only his mesmerizing work, but also his family and daily life. Because often the greatest inspiration comes in the simple, everyday moments that we will never have the luxury of experiencing. We can only choose to peek inside to discern what might have been and what now is.
The house is meticulously designed by Enrique María Repullés with many textures, rich materials, and precious stones such as the Morello cherry marble, “griotte” in French
This Tiffany lamp, which dates back to 1911, was a gift to Sorolla by Charles Lewis Tiffany himself.
It is such an exquisite piece and sets the tone of the space and who he was.
This magnificent, modernist lamp with six arms and a patinated bronze central stem with 42 iridescent glass lampshades. Although it is not the only one in the house, it is the most impressive and dominates the living room. A work of art within a work of art, which as an artist and designer, offered an experience that transcended my soul.
Here I leave you with more photos of this beautiful and historic house and some of my favorite paintings of him.
A hidden gem in Madrid, the house of light which, as a designer and a human who is always in search of new and inspiring experiences, stole my heart. If you ever find yourself in Madrid, I implore you to visit Sorolla’s home in search of something that excites you.
All images are copyright taken by Marbé unless noted
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