12 July 2021 - 9 January 2022
Curator: Luis Alberto Pérez Velarde
Sorolla. Torment and Devotion is the first major exhibition to focus on the religious works which the young Sorolla produced at the outset of his career in Valencia, Rome, Paris, Assisi and Madrid.
The exhibition brings together genre scenes of popular devotion and religious compositions, paintings on which the young artist worked with passion and ambition. These hopes were, however, frustrated by the unsuccessful reception of his large canvas The Burial of Christ at the National Fine Arts Exhibition of 1887. The word “torment” in the exhibition’s title refers to the anguish experienced by Sorolla when devising the work’s composition during his time in Rome.
More than forty little-known paintings have been selected for display here, including both religious compositions of the type Sorolla entered for major competitions and scenes of popular piety, a genre that became fashionable in Spanish painting in the last quarter of the 19th century. It was in this context that Sorolla aimed to establish a reputation among the upper middle classes with his anecdotal scenes set in Valencian Baroque churches and religious interiors of other types.