We find here an elder daughter holding out a bright white cloth, ready to dry her younger siblings as they emerge from the water. One can see the excitement etched on the face of the boy nearest us after playing, possibly for several hours, within the warm sea waves. Life was relatively simple for most during the early 20th century, long before the arrival of so much technology into our lives as has been the case in the last few decades. We can see several other children further out in the waves, potentially having grown up doing so and therefore comfortable in being that far out despite their relatively small frames. One can appreciate the freedom enjoyed by the children here, even though potentially their parents may have been working hard to achieve just the basics of food and shelter whilst they played in the water.
Alongside them are a number of fishermen, using cattle to drag their vessel across the shallow water. It is hard to tell as to whether the boat is coming in or out at the time of this painting, but the angles suggest most likely that the cattle have helped the boats into the water and now they are setting sail on their latest journey. There was a strange contrast for the lives of fishermen in Valencia which was covered within Sorolla's paintings, where they would work within a stunning environment but would also have to put in hard toil in order to make just a simple living, often also calling on their wives for help from the shoreline.
The artist is perhaps most famous of all for his beach scenes, despite having contributed work to a wide number of genres across his extensive career. It was perhaps the opportunity to focus on the beautiful landscape of his native Valencia that appealed to the artist, as well as the bright tones brought about by the environment in and around the coastline. Light would saturate his work when producing these paintings and the sea could then reflect it all around the different objects. He would choose to alter the content each time and focused mainly on different combinations of children playing, yachts sailing by and also fishermen going about their daily work. The overall body of work provides us with a stunning insight into the lives of ordinary Valencians during the late 19th century and also underlines how proud the artist was of his connection to this region in the East of Spain.