It can be stated that Sorolla acts as a mirror of the woman of his time: from high society ladies, to prostitutes and peasant women, the painter gives breath and life to each of them, accentuating their individuality beyond the physical. or. The influence of the Valencian not only makes itself felt in the peninsula, but also reaches fame during his life even in distant countries such as Argentina.
The portrait of “Madrileña con Mantón” has a particularly interesting origin It was brought to Argentina by the Catalan businessman Don José Artal y Mayoral (1862 – 1918), a crucial figure for the dissemination of Spanish art in the then flourishing city of Buenos Aires.
According to documentation kept in the Sorolla museum, it is stated that the work “Madrileña con Mantón” It is received and later exhibited by Artal in the first exhibition of Spanish painters in Buenos Aires in 1898 . This exhibition was so successful that Artal organized two more and became the artist’s intermediary, thus receiving prestigious orders for portraits and paintings for large Buenos Aires families.
The salons organized by Artal together with the famous Sala Witcomb acquire great prominence in the sophisticated social life of Buenos Aires. Artal combines his exquisite social skills with passion for art and a skillful dissemination strategy to present up to twenty-four exhibitions and thus commercialize and publicize the best of the art of the fin de siècle Spanish. Important works by Joaquín Sorolla, Eliseo Meifrén and Ramón Casas, among others, pass through his hands.
The portrait of the enigmatic black-eyed woman has returned to her home country and will be auctioned in Setdart on April 15, 2021.