"Valencia Beach: Morning Light", 1908, was originally on view at The Hispanic Society of America in 1909 and later purchased by the institution. Sorolla’s luminous beach views were all painted in situ—as opposed to in the studio—and Sorolla received numerous accolades in the press and in scholarly articles for his technique.
"Portrait of Louis Comfort Tiffany (Louis Comfort Tiffany)", 1911, was painted at Tiffany’s country estate on Long Island just days before Sorolla departed America. Painted in the estate’s gardens, the work exemplifies Sorolla’s preference to paint outdoors.
Source: Meadows Museum, Dallas
The exhibition features nearly 160 works by Sorolla, including several of his most iconic paintings, as well as works that were purchased during the artist’s lifetime and have never been exhibited publicly.
Sorolla was internationally acknowledged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as one of the foremost Spanish painters, and rose to acclaim in America following major exhibitions of his work in the United States in the early 20th century. Those exhibitions were organized with the help of Archer Milton Huntington—founder of The Hispanic Society of America—who became acquainted with Sorolla in London in 1908. The public response to these exhibitions was unprecedented; the first exhibition Huntington arranged in New York in 1909 drew more than 150,000 visitors in one month. Later that year, that same exhibition traveled to Buffalo to the museum now known as the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and to the Copley Society of Art in Boston. It also inspired a second exhibition, which traveled in 1911 to the Art Institute of Chicago and St. Louis Art Museum.
The enthusiastic reception of Sorolla’s work led to a series of portrait commissions for the artist from notable Americans including President William Howard Taft and Louis Comfort Tiffany. Because those commissions and a large portion of the work Sorolla produced for the American exhibitions quickly entered private collections, much of it has gone undocumented.
The exhibition is arranged thematically and features works representing the full range of subjects and styles for which Sorolla was renowned, including: social realism, portraits, beach scenes, gardens and landscapes, history paintings, oil sketches, drawings, and studies for decorative murals. Each work in the exhibition was either created in America, exhibited in America, or sold in America during Sorolla’s lifetime. "Sorolla and America" features works from many notable U.S. collections—including The Hispanic Society of America, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the private collection of the U.S. Department of State—as well as five Sorolla works from the Meadows’ collection. In addition to American loans, works from Mexico, Spain and other European countries complete the exhibition.