Sorolla’s Visions of Spain at Bancaja

Hispanic Society of America

If you haven’t yet been to the Bancaja Cultural Center to see Joaquín Sorolla’s famous series of paintings, Visions of Spain, you are obligated to go immediately. That’s right, HolaValencia can require you to do things. You’re not allowed to miss this chance to see the incredible works of Valencia’s most famous and celebrated artist.

The exhibition is free, and if you go during the week at a clever time (say, 4pm, during siesta time) you probably won’t have to wait at all. It’s on until January 10th, so you have just under a month left.

Sorolla received the commission for this set of paintings from New York City’s Hispanic Society of America. The objective was to introduce Spain to a curious American audience, and it’s a task in which the painter succeeded grandly. From Andalusia to Galicia, from the Basque Country to Catalonia, Sorolla created masterful works which show idyllic scenes of Spanish life.

On his huge canvases, most of which took about a month to complete, Sorolla’s visions of Spain are traditional, colorful, rural, familial, and always basked in a striking sunlight. Not all of them are depictions of actual events, but rather metaphorical scenes which give the viewer the most accurate possible sense of Spain.

The paintings were originally created for an American audience, so I felt as though Sorolla was speaking directly to me. My favorites would have to be the Tuna Catch, and the scene from the Flowers of May festival in Seville. And of course, the massive tribute to Castile is incredible.

Hispanic Society of America

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