This painting leaves us with plenty of questions. It appears to focus on a series of figures in the foreground, with some elements of architecture behind them. The individual dabs of paint are still visible today, meaning this is likely to have been a very small canvas on which the artist worked, and also that perhaps here he was working quickly in the method of study rather than attempting to produce a fully completed artwork that could then be exhibited and sold privately. The large mass of white is likely to have been a wall behind these three female figures, who can be identified as such from the shapes of their hats. Sorolla also tended to prefer painting women or children over men in any case.
We all remember Sorolla as someone who was passionate about bright colour and light, but this was something which crept into his career over time. He was originally faithful to the work of artists like Diego Velazquez and Goya, whose colour schemes would be far darker and more subdued. It would be the beaches of Valencia which brought about a change in that regard, where light would saturate everything that he saw, essentially forcing him to take a new direction within his career. He began to enjoy these more upbeat artworks and would go on to produce a huge number of artworks based along the Spanish coastline, with Valencia always remaining his favourite spot of all. He would travel around the country, discovering other gems from time to time, though, and also started to work abroad once he started to receive a strong traction with his work. Eventually, the US and Spain would be his main markets and the patrons in these countries appeared to take to his work with a greater vigour than anywhere else that he exhibited his work.
As Sorolla progressed through his career he started to exhibit his paintings, first alongside other related artists and then later on as part of his own unique shows. He found favour in Spain and the US, but followings elsewhere seemed to take longer to achieve and with much more work. He was still happy enough though, and eventually would consider himself financially secure once he had built up a sufficiently impressive list of patrons across a number of different countries. Even today you will notice that his popularity is much higher in some European countries than others, but hopefully the continued exhibitions of his work will help to soften out some of these contrasts, as his style feels entirely suitable to most contemporary art followers, right across the continent. He is well represented within Madrid but perhaps part of the problem is too few of his best paintings are found in major European galleries outside of Spain, essentially robbing many of the chance to discover his work outside of those national boundaries. The artist would become friends with John Singer Sargent, a famous American painter who worked in a broadly realistic manner. He produced some well known artworks such as A Gust of Wind, A Street in Venice and By the River.