5
5

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Joaquín Sorolla
SPANISH
EL BESO (THE KISS)
5

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Joaquín Sorolla
SPANISH
EL BESO (THE KISS)

Details & Cataloguing

Beyond Impressionism: Sorolla & His Contemporaries

London

Joaquín Sorolla
1863 - 1923
SPANISH
EL BESO (THE KISS)
signed and dated J. Sorolla Bastida / 1899 lower left
oil on canvas
77 by 100cm., 30 by 39¾in.
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The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Blanca Pons Sorolla, who will be including it in the forthcoming Sorolla catalogue raisonné (BPS 788).

Provenance

The artist's estate (series K, no. 55)
Elena Sorolla (the artist's daughter, by descent from the above)
Private collection, Spain (by descent from the above)
Private collection, Spain (acquired in circa 1970)

Exhibited

Paris, Galeries Georges Petit, Exposition Sorolla y Bastida, 1906, no. 76 (as Le Baiser)
Berlin, Düsseldorf and Cologne, Casa Schulte, 1907
New York, The Hispanic Society of America; Buffalo, Buffalo Fine Arts Academy; Boston, The Copley Society of Boston, Catalogue of Paintings by Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, 1909, no. 55, illustrated
Rome, Esposizione Internazionale di Roma, Catalogo del Padiglione Spagnuolo, 1911, no. 231 (as Il bacio)
Madrid, Casón del Buen Retiro, Centenario del Nacimiento de Sorolla, 1963, no. 25

Literature

Eight Essays on Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, The Hispanic Society of America, New York, 1909, no. 55, illustrated
Barnardino de Pantorba, La vida y la obra de Joaquín Sorolla: Estudio biográfíco y crítico, Madrid, 1970, p. 157, no. 786, listed
Blanca Pons-Sorolla, Joaquín Sorolla: Vida y obra, Madrid, 2001, p. 166, cited
Jose Luis Díez y Javier Barón, Joaquín Sorolla, Madrid, 2009, p. 258, fig. 172, cited & illustrated

Catalogue Note

This deeply personal painting depicts Sorolla’s youngest daughter Elena, aged four, kissing a bronze bust. Sorolla frequently used his children (María, Joaquín and Elena) as models for two primary reasons: firstly, it allowed him to experiment with light and poses and to practise rendering his children’s spontaneity of movement in painting; secondly, having been orphaned at the mere age of two, Sorolla’s own family was of the utmost importance to him. As a result, the paintings depicting his wife and children are infused with a heightened sense of intimacy. Sorolla was especially fond of this painting and kept it until his death.

This painting resonates strongly with Clotilde contemplando la Venus de Milo (Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia), painted in the same year, in which Clotilde gazes at a copy of the Venus of Milo. Both works shed light on the family’s close relationship with art, but this depiction of Elena is ever more poignant given that she would grow up to become a sculptor herself.

El beso is arguably one of Sorolla’s more impressionistic paintings. The broad, staccato brushstrokes and light palette enhance the immediacy of Elena’s action and imbue the work with levity and tenderness. This style of paint application was one that Sorolla would develop much later on in his career.

Beyond Impressionism: Sorolla & His Contemporaries

London