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Sorolla, Visions of Spain breaks attendance records in Bilbao

Sorolla, Visions of Spain became the most highly attended temporary exhibition in Spain’s history a few months ago. It hit the 900,000-visitor mark while installed in Bilbao.

The show has broken attendance records in Bilbao at the city’s Fine Arts Museum with a total of 154,009 visitors, the highest influx any temporary exhibition has ever attracted.

Sorolla, Visions of Spain has been in Bilbao for a total of 104 days and 1,242 hours. The exhibition was supposed to stay in the Biscay capital until 18 January, but the show was extended to 1 February due to growing demand.

Wednesdays between 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM have been the time of week with the highest influx. The wait to see the 14 Sorolla canvases on display has reached a maximum of thirty minutes, with an average of 1,480 visitors passing through daily.

In Bilbao, Sorolla, Visions of Spain accommodated the most attendees on 14 January: 5,141 people attended from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

The Basque Country and Cantabria were the regions most frequently represented at Bancaja’s exhibition stop in Bilbao. Sorolla, Visions of Spain has also captured the interest of foreign visitors from France, Germany, England and Italy. Spanish tourists mainly chose weekends to enjoy the Valencian painter’s work, which has added to the city’s wealth of cultural attractions.

Sorolla, Visions of Spain has been a magnet for diverse figures in business, political, social and cultural circles. Some such noteworthy visitors were: Juan José Ibarretxe, the President of the Government of the Basque Country; Miren Azkárate, the Director of Basque Country’s Department of Culture; Iñaki Azcuna, mayor of Bilbao; other important national and local politicians; the press; and a number of famous businesspeople, socialites, musicians and entertainers.

The exhibition, Sorolla, Visions of Spain. The Hispanic Society of America Collection, brings together the fourteen paintings — 3.5 metres high and 60 metres in total length — that Sorolla painted for the Hispanic Society of New York. In an exceptional initiative, Bancaja brought this series to Spain for the first time to take the canvases on a two-year journey.

In the upcoming weeks, the 14 paintings will travel to Barcelona, where they can be seen at the National Art Museum of Catalonia until 3 May. After that, the show will move on to Madrid and Valencia.

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