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Cubas Sorolla Collection in Spain
The National Museum of Fine Arts of Cuba, owner of the most important, coherent and complete collection of Valencian painter Joaquín Sorollas works out of Spain, presents in Santiago de Compostella, Galicia, the exhibition Sorolla y sus contemporáneos (Sorolla and his contemporaries). It is a selection of the works of some Spanish painters contemporary with Sorolla (1863-1923) which also belongs to the Cuban institution.

Even when the exhibition only comprises 17 of the 30 paintings of the Sorolla collection of the Cuban museum, it is not about Joaquín Sorolla, said Manuel Crespo, a specialist of the museum and organizer of the exposition. "The idea is to contextualize the artist and show a panorama of the Spanish painting during Sorollas most productive period (1900-1910)."

Catalan Hermenegildo Anglada and Santiago Rusiñols works, as well as those of Andalusian José Moreno Carbonero, Valencian Cecilio Plá and Basque Ignacio Zuloaga, complement the exhibition of almost 60 paintings.

"In that period, the Spanish painting was polarized on an illuminist trend -followed by Sorolla- that offered a more optimistic vision and mixed with the generation of 98 which preferred symbolism, whereas the other group was led by Zuloaga", pointed out Crespo. Zuloaga, who made an exhibition in Cuba in 1925, is the second most represented painter of the exhibition.

At the beginning of 2007, the Museum of Fine Arts exhibited its Sorolla collection for the first time. Apart from the 14 paintings permanently exhibited, the other 16 pieces the museum has kept since it got its first Sorolla in 1920 -Niño comiendo sandía (Boy eating watermelon)- were shown too. In 1920, the artist suffered a hemiplegia and died three years later.

The collection of the Museum of Fine Arts was increased gradually until 1991, the year in which it got what has been up to the moment the last acquisition of a Sorolla: Retrato de la marquesa de Balboa (Portrait of the Marquise of Balboa).

The works, dated between 1885 and 1920, show the different evolutionary phases of the painter and his recurrent themes such as traditional scenes of Valencia, landscapes, fishermen, childhood and the beach. It is worth to say that the date of the paintings is what makes them important.

An exponent of impresionism, Sorolla is considered to be one of the artists who better captured the sunlight of the Mediterranean. Since he was a child, he was inclined to painting and in 1898 he registered at the San Carlos School of Fine Arts. His work attracted the attention of the critics and he went to Rome and Paris to improve his technique. He began to be worldwide known after two exhibitions in Paris and New York in 1906 and 1909, respectively. The experts agree on the fact that his most important work was made for the Hispanic Society of America in New York between 1912 and 1919. There he painted 14 panels that represented Spanish local customs.


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