Spanish painter Joaquin Sorolla would utilize the theories of "Luminism" and Impressionism to define his own unique style of portrait, landscapes and social/historical themes.
Most of his paintings depict figures or settings in the brilliant light of the Spanish sun, and though Sorolla was working in the age of the abstract painters, he continued to produce recognizable subjects and settings.
He had taken his formal education in Madrid where he copied old Master paintings. He later moved to Rome, where a four year scholarship permitted him to develop his skills with lighting and Luminism.
After entering his work in the 1901 Exposition Universelle, demand for his paintings increased significantly. Though much of his early work would have serious religious or social themes, he would later be sought after as a painter of portraits including those of American President William Howard Taft, artist Louis Comfort Tiffany, and King Alfonso XIII of Spain. Many of his portraits would be set outdoors to allow Sorolla to paint the sunlight he loved, and he would combine his love of family and light in his famous "My Wife and Daughters in the Garden", which he painted in 1910.
Additionally, Sorolla would develop a fondness for beach scenes, especially in the Valencien area of Spain.
From 1912 to 1919 Sorolla worked on a commission from the Hispanic Society of America, which was to be a series about the country of Spain. The labor required for the enormous paintings gravely affected his health, and he died only three years after completing the work.
His legacy as the founder of the modern Spanish school of painting has endured through the work of his widow, who worked to convert their home into the Museo Sorolla. Additionally, several major museums throughout the world own Sorolla's work, including the J. Paul Getty Museum which purchased ten of his canvases in 1933.