JOAQUÍN SOROLLA Y BASTIDA (Spanish, 1863-1923)
    Puerto de San Sebastian
    Oil on beveled wood panel
    4-1/2 x 7 inches (11.4 x 17.8 cm)
    Signed lower left: J Sorolla B

    Private collection, Leawood, Kansas

    The Hispanic Society of America, New York, "Exhibition of Paintings by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida," February 4-March 9, 1909 (typed label verso).

    A. de Beruete, C. Mauclair, H. Rocheford, et al., Eight Essays on Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, New York, 1909, vol. II;
    Hispanic Society of America, Catalogue of Paintings by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, New York, 1909.

    In February and early March of 1909, the Hispanic Society of America in New York mounted a monumental exhibition celebrating the work of the then-contemporary Spanish painter, Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida. It was designed to introduce the brilliance of Sorolla's painting to American audiences for the first time. The show contained 350 works by the prolific artist, showing a wide sampling of his vigorous painterly style that was closely akin to the work of his talented friend, the American virtuoso John Singer Sargent.

    According to an old typed label affixed to the back of the present panel, this intimate and spirited view of the port of San Sebastian at dusk was included in the Hispanic Society's 1909 exhibition. The two partially illustrated catalogues which accompanied the exhibition--one summary and one deluxe--list a total of four paintings (nos. 158, 159, 162, and 184) with the same title as the present work, Puerto de San Sebastian, as well as an additional six with the even briefer title of San Sebastian. Since the dimensions of the exhibited works were not included in either catalogue, it is difficult to determine specifically under which number this painting was exhibited. The exhibition was a comprehensive one, both in terms of subject and style. It included smaller-format works produced very directly from nature, such as the present work, as well as more elaborate studio efforts. Whether painting portraits of the royal family, or his famous beach scenes with joyful bathers in and around San Sebastian on Spain's northern coast where the royals summered, Sorolla relished painting great splashes of incandescent sunlight. As one writer enthused in the 1909 catalogue of essays on the artist, "Sorolla y Bastida has the instinct of a Shakespeare with his wide grasp of nature and life, and his epic presentation of it. His work should incite a public to active conspiracy with artists, through intelligent appreciation, to become alive, to make their art big with the bigness of life itself."

    Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000.

    Condition Report*:

    Minor craquelure throughout, beveled on right and left edges, sawed on bottom edge, uneven top edge, otherwise good condition.

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2008
    8th Thursday
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