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Home / Great Artists / S / Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida / Biography
Biography Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida

Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida Biography


Spanish Impressionist Painter

Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (1863 - 1923), Spanish painter, was born in Valencia, and received his art education first in his native town and under F Pradilla, and then in Italy and Paris. At the age of eighteen he travelled to Madrid, vigorously studying master paintings in the Museo del Prado. At twenty-two, Sorolla obtained a grant to study painting in Rome where he developed his definitive style and technique.
His first striking success he achieved with "Another Margaret," which was awarded a gold medal in Madrid and was bought for the St Louis Gallery. He soon rose to general fame and became the acknowledged head of the modern Spanish school of painting. His picture of the "Fishermen's Return" was much admired at the Paris Salon and was acquired by the state for the Luxembourg Museum.
His exhibit at the Paris Universal Exposition of 1900 won him a medal of honour and his nomination as Knight of the Legion of Honour. A special exhibition of his works--figure subjects, landscapes and portraits--at the Georges Petit Gallery in Paris in 1906 eclipsed all his earlier successes and led to his appointment as Officer of the Legion of Honour. In 1933, Paul Ghetty purchased ten Impressionist beach scenes done by Sorolla. After his death in 1923, Sorolla's widow left many of his paintings to the Spanish public. The paintings eventually formed the collection that is now known as the Museo Sorolla which was the artist's house in Madrid.
He is represented at the Berlin National Gallery, at the Venice and Madrid Museums, and in many private collections in Europe and America, especially in Buenos Aires. He painted portraits of King Alphonso and Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain, and a magnificent portrait group of the family of Don Aurelian de Beruete. Three of his works were shown in London at the Spanish Exhibition, Guildhall, 1901.