María at La Granja
Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida
Gift of Mr. Archer M. Huntington in memory of his mother, Arabella D. Huntington, 1925:1
Sorolla was the most internationally famous Spanish artist of his day. Early in his career, he was greatly influenced by the realism of Velázquez and other artists of the 17th-century Spanish Golden Age, but he spent much time in Paris in the years around 1900 and developed a particular talent for combining traditional Spanish painting with the new approaches of French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism.
Sorolla painted plein air portraits with great skill and success, starting with his family and later portraying even the king and queen of Spain. This portrait is of the artist’s daughter at age 17, when she had recently recovered from tuberculosis. She is shaded by trees that are not shown in the painting, but the juxtaposition of cool shadows with glowing patches of light is one of the artist’s trademarks, as is the deft manipulation of paint into thick impasto highlights.
View a discussion of María at La Granja by Dr. John Marciari, former Curator of European Art.