On my second day in Madrid in September last year, Srta. Susana brought me and the group to an unassuming museum near her office. She had to rush some things with a bunch of lawyers and she didn’t want us to wait for her so she paid for entrance to this seemingly small museum that resembled more of a house.
That house, which apparently was grand but not ostentatious, was the Museo Sorolla, the former house of Valencia-born painter Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (27 February 1863-10 August 1923). Sorolla is hailed as the “Master of Light” because of his works’ playful but masterful use of Spanish sunlight.
The house was beautifully appointed, filled with collections by the painter himself as well as some of his family’s own souvenirs from different places.
The former home was actually Roman in design, complemented by a Roman garden with lush vegetation.
According to Museo Sorolla’s official website (http://museosorolla.mcu.es/), the museum was founded out of the desire of the viuda de Sorolla Sra. Clotilde García del Castillo to feature all of the artifacts to the Spanish state. This was put into writing by Clotilde in a testament released in 1925. The museum was opened in 1932 with Joaquín Sorolla García as the first Director of the Museo Sorolla. He stayed as director until his own death, as requested by his mother.
The house has gone through very minimal changes since Sorolla the painter died.
When I visited, I enjoyed the light, and romantic paintings, which featured common Spanish life. His use of light was original and unique and attracts many people because of its seeming hopeful and cheery impression. His excellent works were those of landscapes, portraits and Spanish social life. One’s knowledge too of Spanish costumes can be extended by visiting this museum.
It is located at 37 General Martínez Campos. A good museum to visit along with Madrid’s Triumvirate, namely El Prado, Thyssen and Reina Sofia. You won’t be disappointed. AND! There was a nearby restaurant that was known for their paellas! Eat there right after.