This is the first major exhibition in the UK for over a century of the artist known as Spain’s Impressionist, Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (1863–1923).
The exhibition includes portraits and genre scenes of Spanish life, as well as the landscapes, garden views, and beach scenes for which Sorolla is most renowned.
On display are 60 works spanning the artist’s career, including important masterpieces on loan from public and private collections in Europe and the United States. This is the first UK retrospective of the artist since 1908 when Sorolla himself mounted an exhibition at London’s Grafton Galleries where he was promoted as The World’s Greatest Living Painter.
While it was his sun-drenched depictions of the life, landscapes and traditions of Spain, as well as his gifts as a portraitist, which sealed his fame, Sorolla, who trained in Valencia and studied in Madrid and Rome, first won an international reputation for major works tackling social subjects.
For the first time in the UK a series of these prized early social paintings will be brought together, including The Return from Fishing (1894), which was bought by the French government; Sewing the Sail (1896), acquired by the city of Venice; and Sad Inheritance! (1899), kept in the Church of the Ascension on New York’s Fifth Avenue for over 50 years until it was returned to Spain in 1981.