48
48

PROPERTY FROM AN ENGLISH COLLECTION

Joaquín Sorolla
SPANISH
STUDY FOR SAD INHERITANCE
Estimate
150,000250,000
LOT SOLD. 182,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
48

PROPERTY FROM AN ENGLISH COLLECTION

Joaquín Sorolla
SPANISH
STUDY FOR SAD INHERITANCE
Estimate
150,000250,000
LOT SOLD. 182,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

19th Century European Paintings

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London

Joaquín Sorolla
1863 - 1923
SPANISH
STUDY FOR SAD INHERITANCE
signed, dedicated and dated a mi querido amigo Laparra / primer apunte de "Triste herencia" / J. Sorolla-Bastida / 1906 lower right
oil on canvas
40 by 58cm., 15¾ by 22¾in.
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The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Blanca Pons Sorolla, who will be including it in her catalogue raisonné on the artist (BPS 792).

Provenance

William Laparra, Paris (acquired from the artist at his 1906 Paris exhibition. A pupil of Jules Lefebvre and William Bouguereau, Laparra (1873-1920) was awarded the Prix de Rome in 1898, and became a member of La Sociétaire des Artistes Français in 1905, an organisation of which Sorolla was a 'membre correspondant', a shared affiliation that may have precipitated the two artists' acquaintance)
Eduardo Lucas Moreno, Madrid
Victoria de la Peña, Madrid
Arturo Linares
The Broadway Art Gallery, Gloucestershire
Purchased from the above by the present owner in the mid-1960s 

Exhibited

Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, Exposition Sorolla y Bastida, 1906, no. 260 (as Étude pour le tableau 'Triste héritage')
Broadway, Gloucestershire, The Broadway Art Gallery, Joaquín Sorolla, 1965, no. 24

Literature

The Connoisseur, May 1967, illustrated
Bernardino de Pantorba, La vida y obra de Joaquín Sorolla, Madrid, 1970, p. 181, no. 1376, catalogued
Joaquín Sorolla, 1863-1923,
 exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2009, p. 269, fig. 180, illustrated

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1899, the present work is a particularly fresh and vibrant preparatory oil study for Sorolla's masterpiece of the same year: Triste Herencia (Sad Inheritance; fig. 1), a painting that established his international reputation and is one of the artist's most iconic works.

Sad Inheritance concluded the artist's interest in overtly religious and social-realist themes that had occupied him during the 1890s, while the plein-air setting of young boys on El Cabanal beach announced a turning point both in the painter's technical development and his international fortunes.  

Awarded highest honours when exhibited at the Exposition Universelle of 1900 in Paris for its accomplished execution and poignant message (its working title had been Children of Pleasure), the outdoor setting of Sad Inheritance presaged the canvases of children frolicking on the seashore that would come to characterise his work of the next decade.  

In the present work Sorolla captures the spontaneity and drama of the moment. On the horizon a quartet of jaunty sails tack into the wind; the whites of the waves roll in in the middle distance; nearer to us boys gambol in an aquamarine sea, and on the beach in the foreground is silhouetted a single figure.  

It was clear that the scene Sorolla first encountered had affected him considerably, he recalled: '...at a distance I saw a few naked boys in the sea watched over by the vigorous figure of a friar on the beach. Apparently they were from the Hospital of San Juan de Dios, the sadest detritus of society: blind, mad, handicapped or leprous. I cannot tell you how strongly I was impressed to work on the spot...' (quoted in Joaquín Sorolla, 1863-1923, exh. cat., Madrid, 2009, p. 265).  

Indeed so influenced was he by the subject that he had difficulty finishing the large scale composition. And, even after dispatching it to Paris for the 1900 exhibition, he continued to worry, writing: 'I have painted it with my soul, but as it is very personal, I fear it will not be understood. This Sad Inheritance is my nightmare and my fear... I made it because I was struck by the power of the scene. It was so beautiful and so sad...' (letter to Pedro Gil Moreno de Mora, 15 February 1900, translated from Facundo Tomás et al, Epistolarios de Joaquín Sorolla, vol. II, Barcelona, 2008, p. 133). 

Of course Sorolla's worries were unfounded, and following its peerless critical success at the Paris exhibition, in 1901 the painting took the highest award at the National Exhibition of Fine Arts in Madrid. Reassured, and marking a watershed moment in his career, Sorolla offered at least three of the preparatory oil sketches of this talismanic work as gifts to artist friends and acquaintances: in 1903 to John Singer Sargent (fig. 2), in 1906 to William Merit Chase and in the same year the present painting to Laparra, thus accounting for the post-dated dedication, inscription and signature.





19th Century European Paintings

|
London