When they met about three years of its discovery, Abalarte Auction takes on sale this fascinating, unique and special work of Sorolla (Lot 108).
It is an oil on canvas, signed, dated and dedicated "to Sª Ms. Clotilde García Pons /J.Sorolla 83". The firm is incised in the painting, probably made with the tip of the brush handle paint exploiting the still tender, in the words of Blanca Pons-Sorolla, was a common technique in the early days of the painter.
The work was mentioned by Bernardino de Pantorba in 1953 and certified by Francisco Pons-Sorolla in 1973. As of that date his whereabouts are unknown until recently has been discovered to be studied and cataloged by Ximo Company and Gemma Avinyó University of Lleida with the collaboration, supervision and counseling Blanca Pons Sorolla.
This painting was almost certainly made in Valencia, in his youth, later given to Dona Clotilde del Castillo, wife of Antonio Garcia, a friend and protector of Sorolla, who would become his in-laws years later. It would not be the only work that would give Dona Sorolla Clotilde, we also have the painting depicting "The Virgin Mary", signed and dedicated, preserved in the Museum of Fine Arts in Valencia.
Important work of high museum value whose uniqueness is given by the lack of religious painting in the long and prolific career of Sorolla.
The work presented here shows the figure of Christ crucified with his head tilted to the right, with a suffering contained in the face and eyes raised to the sky, touching the viewer. It is represented on a dark background, the baroque manner of the great master Diego Velázquez, which Sorolla admired and copied (see "Copying the torso of the Christ of Velazquez", oil on canvas, 76 x 50 cm, kept in private collection) where Sorolla performed an anatomical study of a male body and the work we list.
On the occasion of the Exhibition of Fine Arts Nations, Sorolla is in his works like academic affairs, ie painting religious or historical content, because the landscapes were considered "minor" genres. In this line would be the work presented in 1883 in the Regional Exhibition of Valencia "Nun in prayer" (retained in the art collection of the Savings Bank of Valencia) work very comparable, year and the technique presented,
with which he won the Gold Medal. Special mention must be done to the work presented at the National Exhibition in 1887, "Burial of Christ" (1885-1887), a huge canvas 430 x 685 cm, of transcendent issue and with great realistic features, where a funeral procession, a work that was partially destroyed and which fragments are preserved in the Sorolla Museum in Madrid is shown.
Therefore, in addition to an important religious canvas, this "study of Christ" can be considered a major academic study in which Sorolla began to introduce an obvious preoccupation with light, with a loose brushstroke and light as can be seen also in the "The Good Thief crucified or" made in 1885, and that will characterize his later career.
A comprehensive survey of the work where issues are addressed both technical and formal work (Ximo Company and Gemma Avinyó, Joaquin Sorolla. Study of Christ, Lleida. CMEA 2013) is attached
Clotilde García del Castillo (Suegra painter), Sorolla gift
-for Offspring Enriqueta García del Castillo
-for Offspring Antonio Moscardó
-Bernardino Of Pantorba, The life and work of Joaquín Sorolla. Biographical and critical study, Ed.
Mayfe, Madrid 1953, p. 168, No. 1149
Gemma Avinyó -Ximo Company and Joaquin Sorolla. Study of Christ, Lleida. CMEA 2013
-Blanca Pons Sorolla. Separate included in the catalog of Joaquin Sorolla in preparation.
PLAYED IN PRESS (selection):
- The Country. "Experts from the University of Lleida identify a Sorolla". May 8, 2012, p. 5.
- ABC. "They discover the Study of Christ Sorolla". May 8, 2012, p. 10.
- The Gazette. "The University of Lleida identifies an unpublished work by Joaquin Sorolla". May 8
2012, p. 10.
- The Reason. "The University of Lleida religious discovers an unpublished work of Sorolla". May 8
2012, p. 6.
- The World. "They discover an unpublished Christ Joaquin Sorolla". May 8, 2012, p. 27.