The itinerary <em>TITULORECORRIDO</em> has been successfully created. Now you can add in works from the Collection browser
<em>TITULOOBRA</em> added to <em>TITULORECORRIDO</em> itinerary

Exhibition

Portraits by Joaquín Sorolla (1863-1923) in the Museo del Prado

Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid 12/21/2022 - 6/18/2023

Calendar Add to the calendar

This homage to Sorolla reunites in Room 60 at the Villanueva building, usually focused on 19th Century Collections, a selection of the artist’s portraits kept by the museum. The exhibition is completed with some artworks that are part of the Permanent Collection in Room 60A, next to the previous one, and 62A, where you can find portraits by artists from the 19th century, four by Sorolla among them. One of them, Martin Rico’s portrait, was acquired in 2022 and was placed in that room just a few months ago.

This set of portraits offers a complete and comprehensive vision of Sorolla's evolution as a portraitist, which would give him international recognition at the beginning of the 20th century.

In room 60A is also displayed, after its recent restoration, the portrait of Manuel Bartolomé Cossío, member of the first Board of Trustees of the Prado Museum and author of the first great monograph about El Greco, published precisely the same year in which Sorolla painted him. Next to it, and also recently acquired by the Institución Libre de Enseñanza (ILE) – on temporary loan -, you can find a portrait of Francisco Giner de los Ríos, dedicated to Cossío – who succeeded him as director of the ILE -. Both portraits left Spain after the Civil War and have now been recovered for the benefit of Spain's historical and artistic heritage. Another distinguished ILE's member was Aureliano de Beruete y Moret, Son. During his time as director of the Prado Museum, he created the first room dedicated to El Greco in 1920.

Curator:
Javier Barón Thaidigsmann, Head of Department Nineteenth-century Painting

Access

Room 60, 60A and 62A. Villanueva Building

RDF

RDF

Exhibition

The exhibition

The exhibition
Manuel Bartolomé Cossío
Joaquín Sorolla
1908
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

The dedication to portraiture evident in the work of Joaquín Sorolla (1863-1923) is remarkable in terms of both number and quality. The artist’s professional collaboration as a very young man with the photographer Antonio García introduced him to careful depiction from life, an aspect already evident in paintings from his formative period. In the first decade of the 20th century this approach led Sorolla to become one of the great, internationally renowned portraitists.

Of the 23 paintings by Joaquín Sorolla in the Museo del Prado, 18 are portraits, including two acquired in 2022: Martín Rico (Room 62A) and Manuel Bartolomé Cossío (Room 60A), now presented at the Museum. Most of these works - the least known, as they are not normally on display - are now included in this exhibition, which has been organised to mark the centenary of the artist’s death. It is completed with the works in the permanent collection on show in Room 60A, adjacent to this one, and Room 62A, devoted to portraits by 19th-century artists including four by Sorolla.

Sorolla’s contribution to the genre frequently reveals the inspiration of the Old Masters, notably Velázquez, an influence that was evident in the exhibition held at the Prado in 2009. It can be seen in the greys and blacks employed in The Painter Aureliano de Beruete and in María Teresa Moret, possibly the artist’s two finest portraits, as well as in the spatial ambiguity of the former. Velázquez is more explicitly referenced in María Figueroa dressed as a Menina and in The Actress María Guerrero as ‘La dama boba’. Cossío’s portrait was painted in the year he published his book on El Greco and Sorolla pays tribute to that painter, whose work, like that of Velázquez, he had studied at the Prado. Sorolla captured the essential physical features of his sitter while adding a subtle interpretation of his intellectual personality. This is frequently the case in his male portraits, which depict leading individuals of the cultural life of the day (a considerable number of them associated with the Institución Libre de Enseñanza) who were also friends of the painter. They include writers (Rafael Altamira, Jacinto Felipe Picón y Pardiñas, Aureliano de Beruete the younger, and Cossío), doctors (Francisco Rodríguez de Sandoval and Joaquín Decref) and painters (Martín Rico, Aureliano de Beruete, Juan Espina, and Antonio Gomar). For some portraits (Jacinto Felipe Picón y Pardiñas, The Painter Antonio Gomar, Dr Joaquín Decref) Sorolla employed a horizontal format which allowed him to work with innovative compositional viewpoints and add a striking sense of movement to the figures, which are often slightly inclined to one side.

Sorolla’s female portraits convey a particular sensuality (Mercedes Mendeville) and make use of a sumptuous palette (María de los Ángeles Beruete y Moret). Both works, examples of portraits of women of the highest social standing, reveal how Sorolla adhered to the requirements of the genre. In the case of other sitters, such as María Teresa Moret, a friend of the artist and his family, or Ella J. Seligmann, the wife of a well known art dealer, his interpretation was elegant and lifelike, based on a refined chromatic sensibility of blacks, greys and whites. The artist was also outstanding as a painter of children, as evident in his depictions of Jaime García Banús and María Figueroa.

Sorolla’s ability to capture his sitters rapidly from life, resulting in images that convey an intense sensation of reality, is evident in all these works. In them, the artist remained faithful not only to his naturalist approach but also to the profound grasp of individuality characteristic of the great Spanish pictorial tradition.

Artworks

Manuel Bartolomé Cossío
11

Manuel Bartolomé Cossío

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida

1908

Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

Portrait of Giner de los Ríos
13

Portrait of Giner de los Ríos

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida

Temporary loan from the Institución Libre de Enseñanza

Martín Rico
17

Martín Rico

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida

Museo Nacional del Prado

Resources for the visit

Brochure

Audio Guide

Not available for this exhibition

Buy tickets

Print on demand

Print artworks available in our catalogue in high quality and your preferred size and finish.

Image archive

Request artworks available in our catalogue in digital format.

Up