No other artist has been more closely associated with the Hispanic Society of America than the Valencian painter Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (1863-1923). With the finest collection of works by Sorolla outside of Spain, the Hispanic Society has been a required visit, if not a pilgrimage, for all who admire the “painter of light.”
Sorolla’s masterwork Vision of Spain, comprised of 14 monumental oil paintings on canvas depicting the peoples and regions of Spain, has been a museum highlight since it was first exhibited in 1926. Having received the commission for the Hispanic Society in 1911 from its founder, Archer Milton Huntington, over the next eight years Sorolla traveled throughout the regions of Spain, producing hundreds of preparatory sketches before completing Vision of Spain in 1919.
On the work’s seven-city tour in Spain during 2007-2010 , its exhibition broke all attendance records, making it the most successful exhibition in Spanish history with a total of over two million visitors.
During the work’s tour, the Hispanic Society renovated the Bancaja gallery for the first time since Vision of Spain was first exhibited. Renovations include a new roof, skylights and new lighting. The counters that served as a barrier separating visitors from the paintings have been removed. The monumental canvases have been hung lower in order to maximize the viewing experience of visitors.