Sewing the Sail, © Ca' Pesaro - Galleria Internazionale d'Arte Moderna

Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light

Thursday 13th June 2019

Marvel at the joyful, light-filled canvases of Sorolla in this much-anticipated exhibition, the first to be held in the UK for over a century.  Our study day includes an introductory lecture followed by lunch then an exhibition visit in the company of your expert lecturer in the early afternoon.

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (1863–1923) is one of the most popular Spanish artists of the 20th century whose magnificent paintings capture the warm light of the Spanish countryside and brilliance of its coastal waters.  Well-known in his home country (the Museo Sorolla is one of the most popular museums in Madrid) his work is somewhat less familiar to British audiences and so this will be an exciting opportunity to view over 60 masterpieces by this brilliant painter, sometimes referred to as Spain’s Impressionist, in London.

Born in Valencia, Sorolla completed his education in Rome, Paris and Madrid where he fell under the spell of many of the great masters such as Diego Velázquez in the Museo del Prado. He soon gained an international reputation of great note and was invited to exhibit in major galleries from New York to Paris, where his show at the Paris Universal Exposition of 1900 won him a medal of honour and his nomination as Knight of the Legion of Honour. A contemporary of Monet and John Singer Sargent he shared the former’s interest in the effects of light and colour and the latter’s virtuoso technique, however he developed a unique and highly personal creative language. Famous for his sun-drenched beach scenes, Spanish subjects and magnificent portraits, he also produced powerful works displaying an interest in contemporary social themes such as child poverty, a homage in some respects perhaps to the works of Murillo but also revealing a social conscience which may have been accentuated by the fact that Sorolla was himself orphaned as a young boy. 

However he is most famous for his charming beach scenes, vivid seascapes and landscapes which conjure up the warmth and luminosity of Mediterranean colour. As Monet said of Sorolla, “he is the master of light”.

Don't miss this exciting highlight of 2019's exhibition calendar!

The day is fully booked but let us know if you would like to join a waiting list



Please meet at The Linnean Society (on the left hand side of the courtyard as you come into Burlington House) in advance of our lecture which will begin at 11.00. Doors will open at 10.30 - we recommend allowing time to sign in and collect your tickets before the talk begins.

Our introductory talk given by expert lecturer Siân Walters will take place in the ground floor Meeting Room (opposite the main entrance as you come in).  You may like to have a coffee in the RA before the talk begins (please note, there are no refreshment facilties at The Linnean Society).

After lunch (optional) we have timed entry tickets in the early afternoon to the National Gallery exhibition (just a 5-minute walk from the restaurant). Lecturing is not permitted in the exhibition but an audio tour is included and your lecturer will be on hand to answer questions. The day will finish at about 3.30. The fee will be £47.50 per person and includes an introductory exhibition lecture, timed entry tickets and audioguide hire.

Please see below for study day reductions


Please let us know if you would like to join us for lunch - we will eat at a very reasonably-priced Italian restaurant near the National Gallery. There is a set-course menu costing £12.95 and payment (in cash) can be made on the day.

Please let us know on the booking form if you have any food intolerances, allergies or dietary requirements.

Further Study Day Information

Location and Directions

The Linnean Society
Burlington House
London W1J 0BF
Tel : 020 7434 4479

To view a map of the venue location click here

Travel Information:
Burlington House is situated on Piccadilly, approximately half-way between Green Park and Piccadilly underground stations. Bus services 9, 14, 19, 22 and 38 pass the entrance.

We then go by foot to the National Gallery where the exhibition will take place. The address is Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN

National Gallery members receive a discount of £8.50 - please inform us when booking, thank you. We will refund the full exhibition ticket price to you shortly after the study day has taken place. This will be actioned via Paypal (please let us know if you do not have a Paypal account and we will send you a refund by cheque).

However, members must book their own timed entry slot in advance - we regret that the gallery does not allow us to do this for you. Members can log in using their password to the members' website, and select a convenient timed entry slot. We would recommend doing this well in advance, to guarantee entry at your required time. For those joining the group for lunch, we would recommend that you book the 2.00 slot which allows entry at any time in the afternoon.)

We are afraid that we are unable to offer discounts if we are informed about passes after bookings have been made. Thank you. We regret that other reductions are not available for this study day.

If you would like to join us please fill in the online booking form. If you would prefer to send a booking form by post please download a copy here.

Once your booking has been accepted, we will notify you by email. If you have not received an email confirmation, please check your ‘deleted items' and 'junk mail' folders. If you have not received a confirmation please do contact us to ensure that we have received your booking.

Normally we will not need to send you any further information, so please just bring the study day details and email confirmation with you on the day. We regret we are unable to offer refunds on unused tickets, but tickets may be transferred to someone else for the event you have booked. Please give us 48 hours notice if you wish to do so.

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for booking this event.

Image - Sewing the Sail, © Ca' Pesaro - Galleria Internazionale d'Arte Moderna


  • One of the highlights of this year's exhibition calendar
  • Introductory presentation by National Gallery lecturer
  • Timed entry tickets and audioguide hire included
  • Delicious lunch arranged
  • Reductions available



Booking is now closed.

If you have any questions regarding the study day or booking please send us an email or
call on +44 (0)1932 267322

Recommended Reading

Visit the AHF bookstore for a list of recommended books and products to accompany this study day.


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