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Sorolla y Bastida, Joaquín

Valencia, 27.2.1863 - Cercedilla, Madrid, 10.8.1923

Following early training with sculptor Cayetano Capuz, he began studies at the Academy of San Carlos in Valencia in 1878. There, his teachers, Gonzalo Salvá (1845-1923) and Ignacio Pinazo, introduced him to "plein air" painting. In the early 1880s, he traveled to Madrid and studied the works of Velázquez and Ribera at the Museo del Prado. In 1884, he participated in the National Exhibition of Fine Arts with "The Second of May" (P6740), which marked his first success, despite being a very early work. Soon thereafter, a stipend from the Regional Government of Valencia allowed him to travel to Rome and then Paris. In 1888, having returned to Valencia, he married Clotilde García del Castillo, the daughter of renowned Valencian photographer Antonio García. Two years later, they moved to Madrid, where Sorolla was in contact with painter José Jiménez Aranda. In 1892, his moving painting, Another Daisy (Saint Louis, Missouri, Washington Univeresity Gallery of Art) received first prize at the National Exhibition, and the following year it won the only prize at the Chicago World’s Fair. From then until 1900, Sorolla received numerous awards, including the Grand Prix of Paris and the Medal of Honor at the 1900 National Exhibition in Madrid. Most of these were for paintings that sought to offer a realistic perspective on bourgeois life and mores, often based on maritime labors in his native Valencia. A fine example is "And They Still Say that Fish is Expensive!" By then, he was in contact with foreign artists, including Jules Bastien Lepage (1848-1884), Adolf Menzel (1815-1895) and various Scandinavian painters, and his own work focused increasingly on capturing natural light. At the very beginning of the 20th century, his previous successes and, perhaps, the influence of his close friend, landscape painter Aureliano de Beruete, encouraged him to travel throughout Spain. A stay in the southern regions was decisive in those early travels, as his palette expanded to convey the landscapes and Moorish gardens of Granada and Seville, as well as scenes from the beaches of Spain’s east coast, including Boys on the Beach. The year 1906 marked the beginning of international success, beginning with an exhibition at the Georges’ Petit Galleries in Paris. The following year, he traveled to Germany, and the year after that, to London. In 1909, Archer M. Huntington (1870-1955) arranged for him to show his work in New York, where it was critically acclaimed and equally well received by collectors. Two years later, Huntington commissioned him to paint monumental murals at the Hispanic Society in that city. These works were supposed to depict the people and villages in different parts of Spain according to their regional characteristics, which obliged the painter to travel throughout the country in search of folkloric prototypes for his images. At the end of this exhausting art project, Sorolla made some of his most interesting paintings, including The Siesta (Madrid, Museo Sorolla) and numerous views of the gardens at his home in Madrid, which is now the Sorolla Museum (G. Navarro, C. in: "El siglo XIX en el Prado", Museo Nacional del Prado, 2007, p. 487).

His portrait by José Jiménez Aranda at the Museo del Prado is catalogued as P004354.

Artworks (20)

Cabeza de mujer con mantilla blanca
Oil on canvas, Ca. 1882
Sorolla y Bastida, Joaquín
Dos de mayo
Oil on canvas, 1884
Sorolla y Bastida, Joaquín
Rafael Altamira y Crevea
Oil on canvas, 1886
Sorolla y Bastida, Joaquín
Saint in Prayer
Oil on canvas, 1888 - 1889
Sorolla y Bastida, Joaquín
Jaime García Banús
Oil on canvas, 1892
Sorolla y Bastida, Joaquín
El pintor Juan Espina y Capo
Oil on canvas, 1892
Sorolla y Bastida, Joaquín
And They Still Say Fish Is Expensive!
Oil on canvas, 1894
Sorolla y Bastida, Joaquín
María Figueroa, dressed as a menina
Oil on canvas, 1901
Sorolla y Bastida, Joaquín
María Teresa Moret
Oil on canvas, 1901
Sorolla y Bastida, Joaquín

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