Spanish artist Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida was from Valencia. He began his education as a painter when he was 15 years old. He moved to Madrid when he was 18 years old and supported himself by copying old masters at the Prado. At age 22 he was awarded a grant to study in Rome. At first he paonted conventional scenes, including histotical works, brilliantly executed. A major turning point in Sorolla's career was the exhibition of 'Sad Inheritance' (1899). This was an extremely large canvas. It depicted crippled children bathing at the sea in Valencia, under the supervision of a monk. It is perhaps the first public display in art of the polio epedenic beginning to ravage Europe and America. This was a very sad work, but it preceeded a vast output of joyous, delightful sunny seaside scenes. Sorolla developed a wonderful ability to depict the effect of sunlight on his bathing subjects and the white or light-colored clothing they wore. You almost get a sun tan looking at his paintings. He was especially noted for his sunny portraits of children at the seaside during the early 20th century. The boys are often depicted without clothing. The girls wear long skirts. Sorolla painted many of his beach pictures at Valencia. He worked rapidly, in part explaining his prolific body of work. He liked to work outdoors, absorbing the sunlight as he painted. Sorolla can be considered a Spanish impressionist and much like the French impressionists, he was fascinated with the interplay of sunkight and water and the myriad of people depicted in his scenes. Hr was an an amazingly prolific artist. And while he is best know for his sun-drenched neach scenes, he also did impressive portraits. We note one of Carlos y Eulalia Urcola painted about 1912. We have no idea who the father, Carlos Urcola Ibarra was, but he must have been very rich. We find anther portrait of the man, this time with with his daughter, Eulalia painted by by José Marie de la Bastida y Fernandez. For some reason we find countless internet pages with this father daughter pair, but not a word as to who the father was. This is rather unusual for such an onviously highly regarded painting. And we note another portrait by Sorolla, this one as far removed from sunlight as possible. It is the face of an unidentified Spanish boy. He wears a dark suit and fancy white floppy bow. We suspect it was painted in the 1900s. Again we can find no information on the portrait.
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