Joaquin Sorolla became close with this artist and his wider family, producing several portraits of them. He would also organise an exhibition of Aureliano de Beruete's own paintings within his mansion shortly after he had passed away in 1912. Aureliano de Beruete had spent his last few years documenting some of the most famous Spanish artists in history and this was perhaps a key influence on his son, who eventually chose to become an art historian himself. The family as a whole were well acquainted with other famous artists of the period, not just Sorolla. A Door in the Walls of Ávila, The Manzanares Under the Puente de los Franceses and Quimperlé at Night were some of the highlights of Beruete's career, and his style was bright and highly contemporary, which Sorolla himself would have appreciated and certainly found some common ground in the way he himself worked in the early 20th century.
This portrait was completed in 1902 and displays immediately the influence of Diego Velazquez, with a canvas appearing from the right hand side, and also a highly subdued use of colour. The two fellow artists may have actually discussed what they wanted for this piece prior to Sorolla starting it, and there would have been a good level of mutual respect between the two. The canvas at the back is used to underline the occupation of the model, a technique which has been used by countless numbers of portrait artists over the years. Whilst the two were very well known to each other, it was still felt necessary to explain to potential viewers of the painting that this was an artist by trade. He himself is dressed particularly smartly, and is clearly of a mature age by the time this work was completed in the early 20th century. He holds a tall hat in his gloved hands and is generally dressed in black, making it hard to spot too much detail in his clothing in what is a relatively subtle piece.
This painting, along with a portrait of the artist's son, can both be found in the collection of the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain. This prestigious location features many of the great artworks from the past few centuries and most of its collection dates from the Renaissance era up to around the time of Sorolla in the early 20th century. There is no modern art here, as such, but much of it would have been influenced by the great masters who can be found on display here. Two great works to look out for are a pair of paintings by Francisco de Goya, namely the portraits of Nude Maja and Clothed Maja. Goya and also Velazquez would provide Sorolla with some incredible insights into the genre of portraiture and the three that he himself completed of the Beruete family bear some influence from these old masters. It is sometimes forgotten because of the more famous, brighter tones that he used in his beach scenes.