Sorolla Paintings on View > To commemorate the centenary of Sorolla’s death, Blanca Pons-Sorolla – the artist’s great-granddaughter and an important scholar of his work – is curating an exhibition focused on the artist with an emphasis on works from American private collections.
Through January 7, 2024, the Meadows Museum, SMU in Dallas, Texas, will present “Spanish Light: Sorolla in American Collections,” featuring 26 paintings from American private collections, some of which will be displayed publicly for the first time in decades. The curator of the exhibition is Blanca Pons-Sorolla, renowned Sorolla scholar and the artist’s great-granddaughter. It joins a worldwide celebration of the artist—dubbed the “Year of Sorolla/Año Sorolla” by Spain’s Ministry of Culture—during the centennial anniversary of his death. Of the approximately 30 exhibitions taking place, the Meadows is one of only two in the U.S.
“This exhibition offers a unique look at Sorolla’s work from private American collections. Thanks to a group of exquisite paintings rarely seen in public, audiences are invited to appreciate the artist’s captivating talent as a painter of light,” said Amanda W. Dotseth, the Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum. “Spanish Light: Sorolla in American Collections, reveals Sorolla’s continued popularity in this country, which can be traced back to the American collectors who supported him during his lifetime. By participating in the Sorolla Centennial, the Meadows joins other institutions in Spain and elsewhere to introduce or reengage audiences with the work of this important artist.”
Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida’s (1863–1923) artistic talent was apparent from a young age. As a teenager he exhibited paintings at the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes in Madrid, attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Valencia and, in 1884, his first large painting was acquired by the Spanish government. By the next decade, Sorolla’s work was being regularly shown in salons and international exhibitions across Europe and in America, including at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Capitalizing on this interest, the Hispanic Society of America invited Sorolla to present an exhibition of his work there in 1909. From that show, the artist sold nearly 200 works to American collectors—and remained in the U.S. for several months, painting a number of portraits on commission, including one of President William Howard Taft.
“Spanish Light: Sorolla” in American Collections captures this long-standing affection for Sorolla in the US by bringing to public view some two dozen paintings drawn from private collections. Highlighting Sorolla’s most popular and characteristic subjects—such as the white sails of Valencian fishing boats, children frolicking on the shoreline, lively garden scenes, and pensive figural studies—the exhibition offers a singular opportunity to see Sorolla through the lens of his current American collectors, who represent the legacy of the artist’s popularity in this country.
Related > Joaquín Sorolla is one of the most respected painters ever to have lived. The way he mastered the color of light is something other artists dream about, yet can never quite pull off. One person who has mastered it is Thomas Jefferson Kitts — a modern master in the color of light, and now you have the opportunity to learn how to paint like Sorolla with this art video workshop, “Sorolla: Painting the Color of Light.”