The National Gallery

Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light

In 2019, The National Gallery opened their major new exhibition, ‘Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light’, the first UK show of Spain’s Impressionist, Sorolla, in over a century. NextShoot were commissioned to produce a series of films to support the exhibition, detailing Sorolla’s life and times and some of his most notable works. This involved filming in Spain and America at numerous institutions and locations which were central to Sorolla’s work.

Known as the ‘master of light’ for his iridescent canvases, this was a rare opportunity to see the most complete exhibition of Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida’s (1863–1923) paintings outside Spain.
From the vivid seascapes, garden views, and bather scenes for which he is most renowned, to portraits, landscapes and genre scenes of Spanish life, the exhibition featured more than 60 works spanning Sorolla’s career – many of which travelled from private collections and from afar.

Our brief was to create three introductory films to promote the exhibition in advance of its opening and for marketing use throughout its duration. In addition we were tasked with producing a 20 minute documentary covering every aspect of Sorolla’s life which would be screened in a cinema room adjacent to the exhibition.

We were also required to create various iterations of the content for social media use.
The National Gallery. Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light The National Gallery. Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light
The National Gallery. Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light The National Gallery. Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light
Our first task was to research the life and work of Sorolla. Working with the gallery’s experts and Sorolla’s great-granddaughter, Blanca Pons-Sorolla we were able to access a huge amount of information and archive material. We were able to explore the structure of the story and begin to pull together some sense of where we should film, which of Sorolla’s works we should focus on and, of course, who we should interview in the process.

We decided early on in the process that we should include experts from outwith The National Gallery itself and established contact with academics in Spain and the US who we felt might make valuable contributions, including representatives from the Musee Sorolla, the Hispanic Society of America and the Museo del Prado.

In addition we wanted to bring the story to life and, working with the Spanish authorities explored the potential to film at sites prominent in Sorolla’s life and work.

We were able to confirm crew and a filming schedule which would give us adequate time to film in the UK, US and Spain.
Production began in New York at the Hispanic Society of America. Although the building was undergoing some rebuilding works were given access to their archive of his work and preparatory ‘gauches’ for his epic ‘Visions of Spain’ cycle.

We began the Spanish leg of our filming in Madrid at the Museo Sorolla, the artist’s former house now a museum exhibiting many of his works and some remarkable archive material. We were able to interview the museum’s director and Sorolla’s great-granddaughter. In addition we had the rare privilege of filming in the Velazquez room of the Museo del Prado to interview a leading expert of Spanish art.

We travelled to Sorolla’s birthplace of Valencia to film on the beach where he painted so many of his most famous scenes. With the kind permission of his family and the assistance of the Ayuntamiento de Valencia and the Valencia film Office, we were able to film at Sorolla’s grave. Using a lightweight, portable dolly system we were able to capture beautiful tracking shots while keeping our footprint to an absolute minimum.

We secured the necessary permissions to film at two of Spain’s great national monuments The Alhambra in Granada and the Real Alcazar in Seville. Both locations were prominent in Sorolla’s work and we were able to get stunning footage at some of the exact locations depicted in his paintings.

Our final day of filming was back in our own studio in London to conduct two interviews with the show’s curator and an expert in art of the period.
The National Gallery. Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light The National Gallery. Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light
The National Gallery. Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light The National Gallery. Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light
We were overwhelmed with the co-operation we received from so many and had access to some remarkable archive material including personal photos and correspondence. As we began to lay down the material in the edit, we were in a position to see how it could be used in the film. Then began the long process of sourcing high resolution versions from numerous sources, and of course cataloguing it for the finished films.

Having put considerable resources into the research and structure of the films, the editing process was quite straightforward for a project of this complexity.

Once we had translated the interviews of our Spanish contributors, we were able to transcribe all the films in their entirety and generate caption files for use on YouTube and other social media platforms and begin the long process of creating the credits for the archive and stills used in the films.
Guide to Arts Video Production
Arts Video Production

NextShoot have years of experience wokring with artists, galleries and their corporate supporters to create stunning video content for the arts and cultural sector.

We've put together a range of resources to help you think about your video strategy and what your approach to video production should be. It includes links to pages which will help you understand how video productions are budgeted, what the video production process is from planning, to filming, to editing and post-production, and you'll find helpful information about different formats and getting your video out on social media.

Click here for our client video production resource pages


NextShoot on Instagram
NextShoot's Twitter Feed'
NextShoot's YouTube Channel
NextShoot's LinkedIn Profile'
NextShoot's Facebook Page


Internal and External Corporate Comms, Case Studies and Company Profiles


Videos for Fashion Labels, Products and Designers

Arts & Culture

Creating beautiful & thoughtful films with artists & galleries


We create videos for the IT and Tech sectors

Retail Video

Product Videos and website Explainer Videos


Filming for developers, architects and engineers


Delivering learning materials and supporting institutions


Forward looking video production for business leaders

Financial Services

Creating video content for the banking and finance sector


Working with law firms to deliver marketing and communications

Commercial Property

Videos for developers and real estate investors


Videos for the manufacturing industry

Call us on +44 (0) 845 539 0075 or click below to email us.

Email Us