Joaquín Sorolla Y Bastida Spain
2-27-1863 Valencia, ESP – 8-10-1923 Madrid, ESPBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida received his initial art education at the age of 9 in his native town. At the age of eighteen he traveled to Madrid, vigorously studying master paintings in the Museo del Prado. After completing his military service, at twenty-two Sorolla obtained a grant which enabled a four year term to study painting in Rome. A long sojourn to Paris in 1885 provided his first exposure to modern painting; of special influence were exhibitions of Jules Bastien-Lepage and Adolf von Menzel. Back in Rome he studied with José Benlliure, Emilio Sala, and José Villegas Cordero.
In 1890, moved to Madrid, and for the next decade Joaquín Sorolla's efforts as an artist were focussed mainly on the production of large canvases of orientalist, mythological, historical, and social subjects, for display in salons and international exhibitions in Madrid, Paris, Venice, Munich, Berlin, and Chicago.
An even greater turning point in Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida's career was marked by the painting and exhibition of Sad Inheritance, an extremely large canvas, highly finished for public consideration. The subject was a depiction of crippled children bathing at the sea in Valencia, under the supervision of a monk.
A series of preparatory oil sketches for Sad Inheritance were painted with the greatest luminosity and bravura, Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida thought well enough of these sketches that he presented two of them as gifts to American artists; one to John Singer Sargent, the other to William Merritt Chase.
Although formal portraiture was not Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida's genre of preference, because it tended to restrict his creative appetites and could reflect his lack of interest in his subjects, the acceptance of portrait commissions proved profitable. A series of portraits produced in the United States in 1909, was capped by the Portrait of Mr.Taft, President of the United States, painted at the White House.
Early in 1911, Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida visited the United States for a second time. Later that year Sorolla met Archie Huntington in Paris and signed a contract to paint a series of oils on life in Spain. These 14 magnificent murals, installed to this day in the Hispanic Society of America building in Manhattan, range from 12 to 14 feet in height, and total 227 feet in length. Despite the immensity of the canvases, Sorolla painted all but one en plein air, and traveled to the specific locales to paint them, at each site painting models posed in local costume.
Art Movement: Post-Impressionism
Influences: Diego Velázquez, Francisco Pradilla, Emilo Sala, José Villegas Cordero
Traveled: Italy, France, USA, England, Germany, Portugal
Influenced: Alberto Pla y Rubio, Julio Romero de Torres