Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida
Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (b. 1863 – d. 1923) was a Spanish artist who excelled at creating portraits, landscapes, and images that addressed important social and historical themes. Sorolla worked mostly within the mode of plein air Impressionism and mostly focused on representing the people and landscapes of Spain. Born in Valencia, Spain in 1863, Sorolla displayed his aptitude for art at a young age and was enrolled at the Academy of San Carlos by the age of fifteen. Sorolla’s early practice was primarily characterized by historical scenes, but increasingly shifted towards the depiction of landscapes and genre motifs as his style matured. Aligning himself with the Impressionists that were popular during his period, Sorolla adopted the uses of impasto and rapid brushwork. Over the course of his career, he was awarded the gold medal at the National Exhibition in Madrid, first prize at the Chicago International Exhibition, a commission to complete a portrait of then sitting president William Howard Taft, and the opportunity to create the panels for the library of the Hispanic Society in New York.