Hall of the Ambassadors, Alhambra, Granada

Object Details

Title:

Hall of the Ambassadors, Alhambra, Granada

Artist/Maker(s):

Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (Spanish, 1863 - 1923)

Culture:

Spanish

Date:

1909

Medium:

Oil on canvas

Dimensions:

104.1 x 81.9 cm (41 x 32 1/4 in.)

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The play of light on the water and against the sun-drenched walls of the Alhambra, one of Spain's most influential architectural achievements, was ideally suited to Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida's artistic mission: exploring the changing effects of light under the broadest possible range of conditions. Just as the Alhambra's architects had interwoven light and shade, stone and water, Sorolla captured the myriad patterns created by the architecture, water, and light together. The shadows of the thin columns against the walls create a pattern reflected in the water, whose liquidity is remarkable, given the thick gestural paint that Sorolla applied.

The thirty-five-acre Alhambra, built between 1238 and 1358, was the last Moslem stronghold in Western Europe in the late Middle Ages. The Moorish architectural style reached its ultimate refinement here, an airy fantasy that almost seems to float, despite its solid construction of stone and stucco.

Provenance
1911 - 1928

Thomas Fortune Ryan, 1851 - 1928 (New York, New York), purchased from the artist, 1911; upon his death, held in trust by the Guaranty Trust Company of New York.

1928 - 1933

Guaranty Trust Company of New York [sold, Ryan sale, American Art Association, New York, November 24, 1933, lot 264, to J. Paul Getty.]

1933 - 1976

J. Paul Getty, American, 1892 - 1976 (Malibu, California; Sutton Place, Surrey, England), upon his death, held in trust by the estate.

1976 - 1979

Estate of J. Paul Getty, American, 1892 - 1976, distributed to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1979.

Exhibitions
Paintings by Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida under the Management of the Hispanic Society of America / A Collection of Oil Paintings by Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, under the Auspices of the Hispanic Society of America (February 14 to April, 1911) (Cat. 156; in Chicago; St. Louis cat. no. unknown)
  • The Art Institute of Chicago, February 14 to March 12, 1911
  • City Art Museum (St. Louis), March 22 to April, 1911
Sorolla and America (December 8, 2013 to January 11, 2015) (Cat. 79)
  • Meadows Museum and Gallery, Southern Methodist University, (Dallas), December 8, 2013 to April 20, 2014
  • San Diego Museum of Art, (San Diego), May 30 to August 26, 2014
  • Instituto de Cultura, Fundación MAPFRE, (Madrid), September 23, 2014 to January 11, 2015
Bibliography

Catalogue of Paintings by Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida under the Management of the Hispanic Society of America, February 14 to March 12, 1911, exh. cat. (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1911), no. 156.

A Collection of Oil Paintings by Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, under the Auspices of the Hispanic Society of America, exh. cat. (St. Louis: City Art Museum, 1911), no. unknown.

American Art Association, New York. Gothic and Renaissance Art. Collection of the Late Thomas Fortune Ryan. November 23-25, 1933, p. 79, lot 264.

Abril, Marcelo. Joaquín Sorolla, o la plena luz en nuestra pintura (Barcelona: Iberia-Joaquín Gil, 1900), ill.

Pantorba, Bernardino de. La vida y la obra de Joaquín Sorolla: estudio biográfico y crítico (Madrid: Editorial Mayfe, 1953), p. 190, no. 1748.

Getty, J. Paul, and Ethel Le Vane. Collector's Choice: The Chronicle of an Artistic Odyssey through Europe (London: W. H. Allen, 1955), p. 162.

Getty, J. Paul. The Joys of Collecting (New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1965), pp. 14-15, 28.

Pantorba, Bernardino de. La vida y la obra de Joaquín Sorolla. 2nd ed., rev. (Madrid: Extensa, 1970), p. 196, no. 1748.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 120, ill.

Pons-Sorolla, Blanca. Joaquín Sorolla: vida y obra (Madrid: Fundación de Apoyo a la Historia del Arte Hispánico, 2001), pp. 336, 388n50.

Pons-Sorolla, Blanca. Sorolla. Obras maestras (Madrid: Ediciones El Viso, 2012), pp. 71, 132-33, fig. 69.

Pons-Sorolla, Blanca. "Gardens Painted after 1908 Not on Display in the Exhibition." In Sorolla: Gardens of Light, exh. cat. (Ferrara: Palazzo dei Diamanti, with Ediciones El Viso, 2012), p. 210, ill.

Pons-Sorolla, Blanca. "Sorolla's Biography after 1902." In Sorolla: Gardens of Light, exh. cat. (Ferrara: Palazzo dei Diamanti, with Ediciones El Viso, 2012), p. 27n32.

Villafranca Jiménez, María del Mar. "The Alhambra Visited by Sorolla." In Sorolla: Gardens of Light, exh. cat. (Ferrara: Palazzo dei Diamanti, with Ediciones El Viso, 2012), p. 35.

Llorens, Tomàs, et al. Sorolla: Gardens of Light, exh. cat. Philip Sutton, trans. (Ferrara: Palazzo dei Diamanti, with Ediciones El Viso, 2012), pp. 99, 101n27, catalogue text by María López Fernández.

Pons-Sorolla, Blanca, and Mark A. Roglán. Sorolla and America, exh. cat. (Dallas: Meadows Museum, 2013), p. 216, no. 79, ill.

Pons-Sorolla, Blanca. "Preparing the 1911 Exhibitions." In Sorolla and America, exh. cat. Blanca Pons-Sorolla and Mark A. Roglán, eds. (Dallas: Meadows Museum, 2013), p. 31.

Pons-Sorolla, Blanca. "Sorolla's Other American Patron: Thomas Fortune Ryan." In Sorolla and America, exh. cat. Blanca Pons-Sorolla and Mark A. Roglán, eds. (Dallas: Meadows Museum, 2013), p. 203.

Pons-Sorolla, Blanca. "Chronology." In Sorolla and America, exh. cat. Blanca Pons-Sorolla and Mark A. Roglán, eds. (Dallas: Meadows Museum, 2013), p. 295.

Roglán, Mark A. "Ryan and Sorolla: Rediscovering the Rich Life of an American Patron." In Sorolla and America. exh. cat. Blanca Pons-Sorolla and Mark A. Roglán, eds. (Dallas: Meadows Museum, 2013), p. 87n90.

Velasquez, Roxana. "Sorolla and Hispanism in California." In Sorolla and America, exh. cat. Blanca Pons-Sorolla and Mark A. Roglán, eds. (Dallas: Meadows Museum, 2013), p. 111.

Pons-Sorolla, Blanca, and Mark A. Roglán. Sorolla y Estados Unidos, exh. cat. (Madrid: Fundación Maphre, 2014), pp. 298, no. 80, ill. pp. 78 (detail), 299.

Roglán, Mark A. "Ryan y Sorolla. Semblanza de un mecenas estadounidense." In Sorolla y Estados Unidos, exh. cat. Blanca Pons-Sorolla and Mark A. Roglán, eds. (Madrid: Fundación Maphre, 2014), p. 100n90.

Velasquez, Roxana. "Sorolla y el hispanismo de California." In Sorolla y Estados Unidos, exh. cat. Blanca Pons-Sorolla and Mark A. Roglán, eds. (Madrid: Fundación Maphre, 2014), p. 132.

Pons-Sorolla, Blanca. "Introducción." In Sorolla y Estados Unidos, exh. cat. Blanca Pons-Sorolla and Mark A. Roglán, eds. (Madrid: Fundación Maphre, 2014), p. 186.

Pons-Sorolla, Blanca. "Cronología." In Sorolla y Estados Unidos, exh. cat. Blanca Pons-Sorolla and Mark A. Roglán, eds. (Madrid: Fundación Maphre, 2014), p. 345.