From his early days in Madrid in the 1880s until the construction of his home in 1911, Sorolla set up his house and studio in various different neighbourhoods, little by little forming a clear idea of where he wanted to live and work. One of his greatest wishes was to combine his place of work and his living quarters so that he could be close to his family at all times, and to have a garden for health and aesthetic reasons.
In 1905, in view of his good financial situation, he purchased a plot and began to envisage and design his future home. In 1909, after the success of his exhibitions in the United States, he commissioned the project to the architect Enrique María de Repullés y Vargas (1845-1922) and, shortly afterwards, had the opportunity to purchase a second plot and the project was redesigned. The house was completed in 1911 and the family moved in before the end of the year.
The artist treated the house as a personal project and was actively involved in its design, as evidenced by the extraordinary collection of drawings by the artist in the Museum. On the ground floor, Sorolla located his work area, consisting of three studios with high ceilings, abundant overhead light and its own entrance from the garden, as well as the communal domestic areas of the house, i.e., the salon and dining room, which were accessed via a portico in the first garden. The first floor housed the family bedrooms and the third the servants’ bedrooms. The mezzanine floor, ventilated by the Andalusian Courtyard contained the kitchen, some other rooms, and the caretakers’ quarters. The house had electric light and central heating.
The garden was also created by Sorolla, who designed the layout, chose the plants, and made it one of the favourite subjects of his paintings in his last years.