Lot 9
  • 9

Joaquín Sorolla

Estimate
200,000 - 300,000 USD
Sold
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Description

  • Pavilion of Charles V, Alcázar of Seville
  • signed J. Sorolla B and dated 1908 (lower left)
  • oil on canvas
  • 25 by 37 1/2 in.
  • 63.5 by 95.3 cm

Provenance

Louis Comfort Tiffany, Cold Spring Harbor, New York (acquired in 1909 from the New York Exhibition and sold, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, September 28, 1946, lot 998) 
Private Collection (acquired at the above sale)
Kurt Stern, New York
Sr. Karger, Barcelona (by 1948) 
Juan Soto Ventura, Venezuela (by circa 1950)
Private Collection (acquired from the above by circa 1970)
Thence by descent

Exhibited

London, Grafton Galleries, Exhibition of Paintings by Señor Sorolla y Bastida, 1908
New York, The Hispanic Society of America, Paintings by Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida Exhibited by the Hispanic Society of America, February 8-March 8, 1909, no. 25
Barcelona, Exposición de homenaje a Sorolla, 1948
Dallas, Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University; The San Diego Museum of Art, Sorolla and America, December 13, 2013-August 26, 2014, no. 63
Madrid, Fundación Mapfre, Sorolla y Estados Unidos, September 26, 2014-January 11, 2015, no. 64

Literature

Eight Essays on Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, New York, 1909, vol. I, p. 103, no. 25, illustrated 
Bernardino de Pantorba, La Vida y la Obra de Joaquín Sorolla, Madrid, 2nd edition, 1970, p. 192, no. 1648 
José Luis Diez and Javier Baróm, Joaquín Sorolla, 1863-1923, exh. cat., Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2009, pp. 419, 421
Blanca Pons-Sorolla, "Landscapes and Gardens," Sorolla and America, exh. cat., Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University and travelling, 2013, pp. 139, 186, illustrated p. 198
Blanca Pons-Sorolla, “Catálogo,” Sorolla y Estados Unidos, exh. cat., Fundación Mapfre, 2014, pp. 185, 345, cited p. 281, no. 64, illustrated
Roberta A. Mayer, “Kindred Spirits: Louis Comfort Tiffany and Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida,” Sorolla in America: Friends and Patrons, exh. cat., Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University and travelling, 2015, pp. 297, 299, illustrated p. 301

Catalogue Note

Joaquín Sorolla was frequently commissioned to paint portraits of dignitaries, socialites, friends and royalty, and in January 1908, the artist was invited to Seville to paint a second portrait of Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain (Fundación Álvaro de Bázan, Madrid). The busy mother of an infant prince, pregnant with her second child, Queen Victoria Eugenie often canceled her appointments with Sorolla, and he took advantage of this time to paint the gardens of the Reales Alcázares de Sevilla (Blanca Pons-Sorolla, “Biography after 1902,” Sorolla, Gardens of Light, exh. cat., Museo de Bellas Artes and Museo Sorolla, 2012, p. 9). During this sojourn he wrote frequently to his wife Clotilde and in a letter dated February 4, 1908 he describes the manicured courtyards and gardens of the Sevillian palace, essentially describing the present scene: “You’d like this because the ground is never trampled, it’s all paved in patterned tiles; the tiled fountains, all enclosed by myrtle, give it a poetic note that’s very charming” (as quoted in Pons-Sorolla, p. 9). He continued, “I find I am obliged to begin the portrait of Viana [Marquess of Viana]… while I’m doing the thing that earns me money, I have to deprive myself of the pleasure of painting something in the gardens” (as quoted in María López Fernández, “Garden,” Sorolla, Gardens of Light, p. 138). The gardens of Seville, and especially the Garden of the Grotesque in the Alcázar, which Sorolla painted in 1908 as well, left a lasting impression, as the artist replicated the two columns visible in the background of the present work in the gardens of Casa Sorolla, built in 1909 and now the Museo Sorolla in Madrid (fig. 1). He left Seville at the end of February 1908 with his portrait of the Queen as well as sixteen pictures of the gardens of the Alcázar and the surrounding city, including Pavilion of Charles V, Alcázar of Seville.This Sevillian group provided the core of Sorolla’s one-man show at London’s Grafton Galleries, held in summer 1908, where 450 works were viewed by many of the artist’s peers such as Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Sir John Lavery, John Singer Sargent and Anders Zorn. The 1908 show introduced Sorolla to the wealthy American collector and philanthropist Archer M. Huntington, who would become the artist’s most influential patron. Huntington immediately invited Sorolla to exhibit in New York at The Hispanic Society of America, the institution Huntington founded in 1904 in celebration of Spanish arts and culture.

Sorolla’s New York show was an immediate success, with almost 170,000 visitors over its four week view in spring 1909. The artist found a receptive audience in America, selling over 150 works during the course of the New York exhibition, and a further 45 works when the exhibition continued to the Buffalo Fine Art Academy and the Copley Society of Boston (Blanca Pons-Sorolla, "Chronology," Sorolla and America, exh. cat., Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University and travelling, 2013, p. 295). Paintings were acquired by Miss Dorothy Whitney (Palacio de Carlos V, Alcázar de Sevilla, sold in these rooms May 9, 2013, lot 60) and the Albright Art Gallery (Viejo castellano sirviéndose vino, sold in these rooms January 31, 2018, lot 37). Pavilion of Charles V, Alcázar of Seville was acquired by the glass designer Louis Comfort Tiffany for $600, perhaps in part because the painting captured the Moorish design elements that Tiffany had used to great effect in his Long Island estate Laurelton Hall (Mayer, p. 299-300). The artists’ respect for each other is illustrated by a 1911 portrait that Tiffany commissioned, placing him in his lush Long Island garden (fig. 2). The portrait remained in the Moorish-style patio of Laurelton Hall, just steps from where it was painted, until it was donated to The Hispanic Society of America by the Tiffany family.



We are grateful to Blanca Pons-Sorolla for her assistance in cataloguing this work, which will be included in her forthcoming Sorolla catalogue raisonné (BPS 1893).
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