For those who travel to Toledo, these historical photographs may surprise you by their stark landscapes in contrast to the tourist torrent that we know Toledo to be today. For those of you who adventured with me on the Art Lovers Trip 2018 to Toledo, these photos will be of greater interest.

In 1906, the 43 years old Sorolla was at the height of his career. He had just sold most of his 500 works, oils and drawings, at a spring exhibition in the Gallery of Georges Petit in Paris. He celebrated by spending a few weeks in the flashy tourist resort of Biarritz, of course painting landscapes, so different from those of the Mediterranean. At the end of this summer, he was heading back to his residence in Madrid but decided to jaunt over to the once grand old city of Toledo, then neglected as the capital due to the rise of Madrid city.

This decision came from his close relationship with friend and associate Aureliano de Beruete with whom he shared a fondness, even a love for Toledo .

Several letters between the two of them suggested that Sollora could come to Toledo to assist his friend with the much needed actions being taken to recognise the works of El Greco and the inauguration of the El Greco house-museum.

Sorolla arrived in Toledo on October 21, at first alone, and days later joined by his wife Clotilde and their children.

Their hotel of choice was the extraordinary first class hotel Gran Hotel Castilla, now the General Treasury of Social Security. This was the hotel to rub shoulders with illustrious and wealthy visitors, bourgeois, dealers in search of artistic heritage, and nobles such as Beruete himself.

During his stay in Toledo, he produced twelve canvases. The family returned to their home in Madrid on November 4.


On our Spain Lifestyle Art Lovers Trip to Toledo 2018, we were so very lucky to be able to witness some rare and remarkable paintings by our favourite Valencian master impressionist painter of light, namely Joaquín Sorolla.

We were at the Santa Cruz museum admiring all of the artefacts, expressive and religious fine arts, especially by the famous Mannerist icon El Greco and low and behold, a sign pointed to an upper gallery stating that an exhibition by Sorolla called "Tierra Adentro" (Inland Earth) was being featured; this way said the arrow! 

One of my students had spotted the exhibition first and was extremely excited when confronting me on the very fact that upstairs there was 68 works by Sorolla. "You are going to freak out," explained my student.

"El arcoiris" - El Pardo 1907 - (c) Sorolla Museum