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Joaquín Sorolla

  • Joaquín Sorolla. 'Self-portrait'. Sorolla Museum, Madrid © Ministerio de Cultura

    Joaquín Sorolla. 'Self-portrait'. Sorolla Museum, Madrid © Ministerio de Cultura






Date of birth

Feb 28, 1863

Date of death

Aug 10, 1923

"Painter. He is considered to be Spanish Impressionism at its finest. His paintings of the Levantine coast gained early-on international recognition."

Born in Valencia in 1863, he began his artistic studies in 1877 with sculptor Cayetano Capuz and later studied at the Fine Arts Academy in San Carlos. From a young age he was interested in open-air painting, with which he tried to capture Mediterranean lighting, both in the farmlands of Valencia and on the beach, just as the French Impressionists did. He finished his education in Paris and Rome. After returning to Spain in 1890, he settled in Madrid and began a trajectory marked by success, awards and important positions. Among his preferred subjects are Levantine waterfront scenes, always with human presence and expressed with an absolute prominence of light. He died in Madrid in 1923.

Essential works

  • The Castilian herdsman. Painting. A Coruña Museum of Fine Arts © Ministerio de Cultura

    The Castilian herdsman

    This work was painted by Sorolla for the project entitled “The regions of Spain”, commissioned by Archer Milton Huntington to decorate the library of The Hispanic Society of America in New York.

    A Coruña Museum of Fine Arts (La Coruña)

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  • ‘Boys on the Beach’ © Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

    Boys on the beach

    This is one of Sorolla’s characteristic light-filled scenes in the style which made this artist so popular.

    Prado Museum (Madrid)

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  • ‘Self-portrait’. Sorolla Museum, Madrid © Ministerio de Cultura


    A cleansed composition with hardly any specific spatial references, using Velázquez’s portraits as a reference point.

    Sorolla Museum (Madrid)

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  • ‘Clotilde seated on the Sofa’. Sorolla Museum, Madrid © Ministerio de Cultura

    Clotilde seated on the Sofa

    A bourgeois portrait typical of the period of the artist’s wife.

    Sorolla Museum (Madrid)

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  • ‘The Young Yachtsman’. Sorolla Museum, Madrid © Ministerio de Cultura

    The Young Yachtsman

    One of Sorolla’s best known work and a clear example of his painting as a recreation of sensations.

    Sorolla Museum (Madrid)

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Other highlighted works

  • Under the awning, Zarauz
  • Valencian Fishermen
  • Portrait of Raquel Meller
  • Helena in the cove of San Vicente



© Museo Sorolla

Jun 12, 2014 to Sep 21, 2014


CaixaForum - Barcelona
Exhibition: Sorolla. The colour of the sea

Joaquín Sorolla. Bastida. The guitar players, Valencia customs 1889 Oil on canvas, 34 x 49.5 cm Museo Sorolla

Jul 22, 2014 to Oct 19, 2014


Sorolla Museum - Alicante
Exhibition: Fiesta and Colour. Sorolla's ethnographic view

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Sep 16, 2014 to Jan 11, 2015


Exhibition: Objects speak. Collections of the Prado Museum

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