19th Century European, Victorian and British Impressionist Art
1 Mar 2017
London, New Bond Street

Barcas y pescadoras, Playa de Valencia by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, is one of the leading paintings at Bonhams 19th Century European, Victorian and British Impressionist Art sale in London on Wednesday 1 March. It is estimated at £60,000-80,000.

The work, known in English as Boats and Fishermen, Valencia Beach, is likely to have been painted in 1904, the summer of which Sorolla spent painting on the El Cabanal beach in Valencia. Here he produced numerous small scale beach scenes, painted on the spot.

Bonhams Director of 19th Century Paintings, Charles O'Brien, said, "Sorolla's wonderfully spontaneous, open-air, paintings are in great demand. Last September, for example, Bonhams sold Bajo Los Toldos, San Sebastian, a beach scene from 1906, for an astonishing £188,500. The vigorous brushwork of Barcas y pescadoras, Playa de Valencia perfectly conveys the billowing sails of the fishermen's boats as they haul their craft onto the beach."

1904 was a hugely prolific year for Sorolla, the artist producing nearly 250 works by the end of the year. Among the major works painted this summer were some of his most iconic beach scenes, including Summer (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Cuba, Havana, Midday at Valencia Beach (Arango Collection) and Sewing the Sail (Masaveu Collection), works which helped consolidate Sorolla's reputation in Europe.

Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (1863-1923)

Born in Valencia. His early training included a close study of Velazquez's works in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Sorolla also studied in Rome and Paris where he was influenced by the Naturalistic style of Jules Bastien-Lepage and Adolf von Menzel. Later in his career, Sorolla visited America, and in 1911 he began work on his most ambitious undertaking, a series of 14 huge murals entitled Visions of Spain which adorn the Sorolla room at the Hispanic Society of America.


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  1. Charles O'Brien
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
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