Sorolla-y-Bastida, Joaquin(Spanish, 1863-1923)
Joaquín Sorolla-y-Bastida was a Spanish painter, born in Valencia, who excelled in the painting of portraits, landscapes, and monumental works of social and historical themes. His most typical works are characterized by a dexterous representation of the people and landscape under the sunlight of his native land.
Joaquín Sorolla was born to a tradesman, also named Joaquín, and his wife, Concepción Bastida. His sister, Concha, was born a year later. In 1865, their parents died, possibly from cholera and were thereafter cared for by their maternal aunt and uncle.
He received his initial art education, at the age of fourteen, in his native town, and then under a succession of teachers including Cayetano Capuz, Salustiano Asenjo. He then studied in Madrid, Rome and then Paris where he was exposed to modern painting.
Although formal portraiture was not Sorolla'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, and the portrayal of his family was irresistible. Sometimes the influence of Velázquez was uppermost, as in My Family (1901), a reference to Las Meninas which grouped his wife and children in the foreground, the painter reflected, at work, in a distant mirror. At other times the desire to compete with his friend John Singer Sargent was evident, as in Portrait of Mrs. Ira Nelson Morris and her children, (1911). In fact, in his Portrait of Ralph Clarkson, shown in the image above, Sorolla references the imagery of the little girl in Velázquez’s Las Meninas, as depicted in the upper left quadrant.
Early in 1911, Sorolla visited the United States for a second time, and exhibited 161 new paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago. It was at this time that he was most likely in contact with Ralph Clarkson and the Eagle’s Nest Colony in Oregon, IL.
Sorolla suffered a stroke in 1920, while painting a portrait in his garden in Madrid. Paralyzed for over three years, he died in 1923. After his death, 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. The museum opened in 1932. Sorolla's work is represented in museums throughout Spain, Europe, and the United States, and in many private collections.
Works Cited:
" Joaquín Sorolla." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 16 Oct 2009, 10:55 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 14 Oct. 2009.

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