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PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE ARTIST'S FAMILY (LOTS 682-93)
Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida divided his career between Madrid, where he owned a studio, and his native Valencia, where he spent holidays with his family. Valencia plays an integral part in Sorolla's work, with its recurring themes of relaxation on the beach and the lives of the fishermen for whom the sea was a means to survive. Many of the sketches in this eclectic group, which comes directly from the artist's family, can be linked to these idyllic Valencian summers. They record Sorolla's fascination with the vivid life to be seen on the beaches: the fishermen's boats, the bulls who pulled boats up from the sea onto the sand and the children who came to bathe. Other drawings are quick figure sketches, testifying to Sorolla's enduring interest in recording Spanish life, an interest which reached its culmination in his great project for the library of the Hispanic Society of America, the Vision of Spain (commissioned in 1911). Most of all, this group of drawings testifies to Sorolla's spontaneous and confident draughtsmanship, an area of his work which is still to be fully explored by critics.