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Experts Say Anonymous Portrait of Spinoza was Made by Joaquin Sorolla
Portrait of philosopher Spinoza which had been thought to be an anonymous painting and now, Julia Irigoyen from Fundación General de la Universidad Complutense says it was painted by Sorolla. Photo: EFE.

MADRID.- A portrait of philosopher Spinoza that had been catalogued as anonymous in the archives property of the Fundacion General de la Universidad Complutense (UCM), has a renowned author: Joaquín Sorolla, Julia Irigoyen, chief of the Unidad de Gestión del Patrimonio Artistico de la Universidad, has informed. The portrait was presented this afternoon to the public. In an interview in relation to the official announcement of the discovery by the Dean of the university, Carlos Berzosa, the curator explained the stops taken to confirm the intuition she had over a year ago when she thought that portrait “with a long stroke” Could have been a Sorolla.

It was last autumn, during the preparations for the exhibition that the cultural sector of the Fundacion General del UCM organized at the botanical gardens of the university, to show their archived works of art, composed of approximately 100 that have come from donations, acquisitions and other activities made during the past 20 years, most of them never before seen in public. During an inspection of the paintings that would be exhibited the curator closely looked at a painting that had been restored and cleaned, and the details of this canvas of Spinoza (measuring 83 X 60 cm, and valued at 200,000 Euros) “my visual memory brought back to my head another image of the philosopher”, Irigoyen remembered.

"And that image was the original made by an unknown Dutch author from the 18th century, that has been repeated a lot, she explained, and who also Sorolla should have copied”. To corroborate that sensation from many years as a curator, Irigoyen asked the Secretary of the Fundacion Simarro, Javier Campos, to find out if Dr. Simarro, the original owner of the painting could have been interested in the Dutch philosopher.

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