SERIES OF CONFERENCES
SOROLLA. THE TRIUMPH OF COLOUR AND LIGHT (III)
MARÍA CRISTINA MASAVEU AUDITORIUM
JANUARY 28, 2020
Third conference given by Blanca Pons-Sorolla of the cycle around the exhibition “Masaveu Collection. Spanish painting of the 19th century. From Goya to modernism”, which took place on January 28, 2020 at the María Cristina Masaveu Auditorium of the FMCMP headquarters in Madrid.
This presentation allows us to get closer to the life and work of the Valencian painter through the works present in the Foundation. Sorolla’s work forms one of the fundamental axes of the Masaveu Collection, being one of the collections with the most works by the Valencian painter.
This activity took place at 7:00 p.m. in the María Cristina Masaveu Auditorium of the FMCMP headquarters in Madrid.
Blanca Pons-Sorolla y Ruiz de la Prada is the great-granddaughter of Joaquín Sorolla. She was born in Madrid on 26 October 1948, the daughter of Francisco Pons-Sorolla y Arnau and Maria Dolores Ruiz de la Prada Unceta.
- Diploma in Art and Interior Architecture from IADE international school (1968)
- Degree in Speech Therapy from the Chair of Rehabilitation in the Faculty of Medicine of Madrid (1980)
- Assistant Professor in the Projects Class at IADE (academic years 1968–1969 and 1969–1970).
- Interior designer in the following architecture studios: Javier Feduchi, Madrid (1968, 1969, 1970); Rafael Moneo, Madrid (1971); and José Erbina and Antón Yeregui, Vitoria (1972–1974).
- Speech Therapist (volunteer assistant) at the Hospital Clínico of Madrid (Chair of Rehabilitation) (1982–1985).
- President of the Entender y Hablar association and member of FIAPAS (Spanish Federation of Associations of Parents of Deaf Children) (until 1989).
- Patron of the ONCE Foundation from its founding until 1989 (1988–1989).
- Parallel to her work in activities related to deaf persons, in 1980 she began to research the life and works of her great-grandfather, Joaquín Sorolla; her grandmother, María Sorolla García; and her grandfather, Francisco Pons Arnau, working with her father, Francisco Pons-Sorolla y Arnau. She began the following projects in 1986:
- Catalogue raisonné of the works of Joaquín Sorolla
- Cataloguing of the works of Francisco Pons Arnau
- Cataloguing of the works of María Sorolla García
- Since 1990, she has been in charge of the catalogue raisonné of Sorolla and has become an expert in Sorolla’s oeuvre.
- She has served as an advisor of the Bachelor’s theses on the paintings of Francisco Pons Arnau and the works of María Sorolla García (both in Spain) and the theses on El retrato al aire libre de Joaquín Sorolla [The Outdoor Portraits of Joaquín Sorolla] (in England) and Joaquín Sorolla pintor del Rey Alfonso XIII [Joaquín Sorolla, Painter of King Alfonso XIII] (in France).
- She is a permanent advisor to the auction houses Sotheby’s, Christie’s, Bonhamns, Koller, Philips, among others, as well as all the auction houses in Spain.
- She has delivered numerous lectures in Spain, France, Andorra, Colombia and the USA.
- She has worked on the majority of exhibitions on Joaquín Sorolla.
- Deputy curator and documentalist of the retrospective Joaquín Sorolla 1863–1923, at the Museo del Prado, Madrid (2009).
- Curator along with Tomás Llorens, María López and Boye Llorens of the exhibition Gardens of Light, a travelling exhibition shown at the Palazzo dei Diamanti, Ferrara (Italy); the Palacio de Carlos V, La Alhambra, Granada; and the Museo Sorolla, Madrid (2012).
- Curator of the exhibition Sorolla in America, at the Meadows Museum, Dallas (December 2013); the San Diego Museum of Art, (May 2014); and the Fundación Mapfre, Madrid (September 2014).
- Curator with Marcus Burke and Carmen Pérez of the exhibition Sorolla íntimo [Private Sorolla], at the Centro Cultural Bancaja, Valencia (2015).
- Curator with María López of the exhibition Sorolla and Paris, at the Hipo-Kunsthalle, Munich; the Musée des Impressionismes, Giverny; and the Museo Sorolla, Madrid (March 2016–March 2017).
- Curator of the exhibition Pedro Masaveu. Passion for Sorolla, at the Centro Niemeyer, Avilés (2018–2019).
- Deputy curator and documentalist of the exhibition Joaquín Sorolla, Spanish Master of Light, at the National Gallery, London, (2019); and the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin (2019).
- Curator with Consuelo Luca de Tena and María López of the exhibition Chasing Impressions. Small-Format Sorolla, at the Museo Sorolla, Madrid (2019); and the Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, Bilbao (2019–2020).
- In addition to numerous articles in art journals and exhibition catalogues, she is the author of the most comprehensive biography on the painter, Joaquín Sorolla. Vida y obra (2001) and of a new monograph in Spanish and English, Joaquín Sorolla (2005) and Joaquín Sorolla. Masterworks (2012), in Spanish, French and English. And forthcoming, Joaquín Sorolla. Apuntes. Masterworks.
- She is the co-author of two collections of letters: Joaquín Sorolla, Cartas a Clotilde García del Castillo, volume II (2007) and volume III (2009), and she has actively participated in the facsimile reissue of the book Eight Essays on Joaquin Sorolla Bastida (2009) published by the Fundación María Cristina Masaveu Peterson on the centennial of the publication of the work by the same title produced by the Hispanic Society of America in 1909.
- Author of the book Comiendo en la barca. Joaquín Sorolla (2011), issued by the Institución Joaquín Sorolla de Investigación y Estudio, Valencia, Spanish and English, 186 pp.
- Editor and author of Sorolla y América, catalogue for the exhibition of the same name, Ediciones El Viso, Madrid (2014), and Sorolla y Estados Unidos, Fundación Mapfre, Madrid (2014).
- Editor with Mark Roglán and José Luis Colomer of the book Sorolla in America. Friends and Patrons, CEEH, (2015). Honoured in 2017 with the Eleanor Tufts award, created in 1992 by the American Society for Hispanic Art Historical Studies to distinguish an outstanding book published in English in the field of Spanish or Portuguese art history.
- Co-author of Sorolla en París, catalogue for the exhibition of the same name at the Museo Sorolla, Ediciones El Viso, Madrid (2016).
- Author of Pedro Masaveu. Pasión por Sorolla, catalogue for the exhibition of the same name, Fundación María Cristina Masaveu Peterson, Oviedo (2018).
- Co-author of Chasing Impressions. Small-Format Sorolla, catalogue for the exhibition of the same name at the Museo Sorolla, Ediciones El Viso, Madrid (2019).
- Co-author with Mónica Rodríguez Subirana of Sorolla. Gardens, published in Spanish and English, Ediciones El Viso, Madrid (2019).
- Author of Sorolla. Catalogue Raisonné. The Painting Collection of the Sorolla Museum, published in Spanish and English, Sorolla Museum Foundation and Ediciones El Viso, Madrid (2019).
Appointments and honours:
- Board Member of the Standing Committee of the Fundación Museo Sorolla since 1992. President of the Standing Committee since 2010.
- Board Member of the Association of Friends of the Hispanic Society of America in Spain.
- Board Member of the Institución Joaquín Sorolla de Investigación y Estudio, Valencia, from its founding in 2010 until her resignation in 2015 (2010–2015).
- Decorated by King Charles Gustaf XVI of Sweden on 16 November 1992 with the First-Class Official Medal of the Royal Order of the North Star for her activities on Sorolla until then.
- Sorolla Medal awarded by the Hispanic Society of America for her career as a researcher of the life and works of Joaquín Sorolla (2009).
- Onda Cero. Valencia award (2010).
- Honorary Member of the Association of Friends of the Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia (2015).
- Honorary Academician of the Royal European Academy of Doctors, Barcelona (September 2019). Opening speech yet to be read.