The National Gallery in London acquires ‘El borracho, Zarauz’, his first work by Sorolla

The National Gallery in London has acquired‘The drunkard, Zarauz’(1910), his first painting by the Spanish author Joaquín Sorolla, for a price of 325,000 pounds (365,000 euros).

The purchase has been possiblethanks to the legacy left by the architect David Medd,who died in 2009, according to Europa Press from ‘The Guardian’. It is a dark and dramatic portrait of alcoholism with the central figure gaping directly at the observer of the painting.

When the National Gallery reopens –predictably in July or August-, the painting will be exhibited in room 41 with contemporary paintings from all over Europe and the United States.

The director of the National Gallery, Gabriele Finaldi, has shown hissatisfaction of this incorporationto the collection of the London gallery.

“The new images help broaden our understanding of the tradition of European painting and enrich the museum’s story, sowe are delighted that this extraordinary image now belongs to everyone, including future generations“he pointed out.

This acquisition is preceded by a sample last year that was Sorolla’s first in the UK for more than a century.Precisely at that exhibition, in 1908 at the Grafton Galleries in London, Sorolla was presented as “the greatest living painter in the world”.

The newly acquired painting is a large-scale sketch that Sorolla quickly executed on-site while touring the taverns of Zarauz in the Basque Country,where he and his family spent the summer of 1910.


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