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Photograph of Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida ca. 1917


Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, was a Spanish painter who excelled in the painting of portraits, landscapes, and monumental works of social and historical themes. Many of his works highlight the people, landscapes, and ocean water illuminated by the bright sunlight of his native Spain.

Clotilde-And-Elena-On-The-Rocks Javea by Joaquín Sorolla ca.1905


Sorolla was born in Valencia, Spain, in 1863. He showed an early talent for painting and was admitted to the Academy of San Carlos in Valencia at the age of 15. After further studies in Rome and Paris, he returned to Valencia in 1888. 


Setting Out to Sea by Joaquín Sorolla ca.1909


Sorolla's early work was influenced by the Impressionists, but he soon developed his own unique style. His paintings are characterized by their use of light and color, and their depiction of everyday life in Spain. Sorolla was particularly interested in capturing the movement and energy of people, and his paintings often feature scenes of children playing, families enjoying the outdoors, and workers at their jobs.

Beached Boats by Joaquín Sorolla  ca.1915

Sorolla was a very kind and generous man. He was always willing to help others, and he was especially fond of children. He would often paint children playing, and he would often give away his paintings to children in need.

Painting on the Beach by Joaquín Sorolla ca.1909

One day, Sorolla was walking through the streets of Valencia when he saw a group of children playing. He stopped to watch them, and he was struck by how happy they were. He asked the children if he could paint them, and they were thrilled. Sorolla spent the afternoon painting the children, and when he was finished, he gave the painting to them as a gift. The children were so happy, and they thanked Sorolla profusely.

Sorolla painting in the garden of his house, 1920

This story is just one example of Sorolla's kindness and generosity. He was a man who loved life and who loved to share his love of life with others. He was a true artist, and he was a true gentleman.

My Wife and Daughters in the Garden by Joaquín Sorolla  ca.1910

Sorolla was a very loving husband and father. He was devoted to his wife, Clotilde, and their three children, María, Elena, and Joaquín. He would often paint his family, and he would often write about how much he loved them.


Hispanic Society of America, New York City by Joaquín Sorolla  painted 1913-1919

In 1911, Sorolla received a request from the Hispanic Society of America to create a monumental series of paintings that would depict the diverse regions, cultures, and history of Spain. This ambitious project, known as the "Vision of Spain," aimed to showcase the rich heritage of Spain to an American audience.

Bride From Lagartera by Joaquín Sorolla  ca.1912

Sorolla eagerly accepted the commission and embarked on a journey across Spain, spending years traveling and meticulously studying the different landscapes, traditions, and costumes of various regions. He sought to capture the essence and soul of Spain in his artwork.

Castilla. La fiesta del pan by Joaquín Sorolla ca. 1913

The resulting series of 14 large-scale murals, each measuring around 14 feet in height and 10 feet in width, is a testament to Sorolla's extraordinary talent. The paintings showcase scenes of Spanish life, including fishing villages, bullfighting, religious processions, and agricultural activities.

Vision of Spain (formerly, The Provinces of Spain): Ayamonte by Joaquín Sorolla  

To ensure the accuracy and authenticity of his work, Sorolla meticulously researched and employed live models, often involving local communities and even his own family members in the process. He was known to work outdoors, capturing the effects of natural light and the vibrant colors of Spain.

The Horses Bath by Joaquín Sorolla  ca.1909

When the completed murals were exhibited at the Hispanic Society of America in 1919, they received critical acclaim and were considered a triumph. The intricate details, vibrant colors, and dynamic compositions showcased Sorolla's ability to capture the spirit of Spain in a captivating and immersive manner.

Joaquín Sorolla  Painting The Horses Bath 1909


Sorolla's "Vision of Spain" murals continue to be displayed at the Hispanic Society of America in New York City, where they serve as a testament to the artist's incredible skill and dedication. This project remains one of Sorolla's most celebrated achievements, and it stands as a lasting tribute to the beauty and cultural heritage of Spain.


Self-portrait by Joaquín Sorolla ca.1909


Fishermen from Valencia by Joaquín Sorolla  ca.1895

Sorolla was a prolific painter, and he produced over 2,000 works during his lifetime. His paintings are held in major museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Prado Museum in Madrid, and the National Gallery in London.

Running Along The Beach by Joaquín Sorolla  ca.1908

Sorolla was a popular and successful artist during his lifetime, and he was awarded numerous prizes and honors. He was also a member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, the highest honor in Spanish art.


Walk on the Beach by Joaquín Sorolla ca. 1909

Sorolla died in Cercedilla, Spain, in 1923. He is considered one of the most important Spanish painters of the 20th century, and his work continues to be admired by people all over the world.

Mending the Sail by Joaquín Sorolla ca. 1896

Sorolla's paintings are a celebration of life and the beauty of the natural world. They are full of light, color, and movement, and they capture the essence of everyday life in Spain. Sorolla's work is a testament to his talent and his love of life.


Niña by Joaquín Sorolla ca. 1904