Valencia would be home to the artist for much of his life and its famed beaches would provide the initial inspiration for this body of work. He would use the type of palette which started to place him in proximity to the French Impressionists and these tones would remain generally consistent across the different depictions of Valencian beaches that he produced. Not all were upbeat in content, certainly, but those which focused on the lives of children tended to be happy and charming pieces that many today would consider as art print reprductions for their own homes. There are sandy tones, plus blue and purple which together can account for most of the composition here. Sorolla would reflect light around by taking colours from certain objects and repeating them on the surface of the rolling waves. He also liked to use pure white in some parts which would always help to produce this feeling of bright light which was typical of life in Spain.
This painting is from a private collection and is dated at around 1916, at which point the artist would have been in his early to mid 50s and certainly at the peak of his powers. It took many years before his work was accepted and appreciated on a wide scale, but once he arrived at that point he was able to continue to devote much of his time to the artistic genres that he most liked. Children on the Beach is a work which perfectly captures the essence of this artist, both in terms of content and also style. He would ultimately re-visit this approach many times and once it had arrived within his oeuvre, he would continue to produce similar scenes to this for the rest of his career. Today we rightly regard him as one of the most important Spanish artists ever to have lived.
Sorolla was undeniably proud of his Valencian roots and happily returned to his childhood city even as his career started to take off all over the world. He found most success within his native Spain as well as across in the US, where a number of wealthy patrons could offer him something approaching financial security. It did take him a long time to get to that point, and not all of his exhibitions would prove successful. He is still today perhaps better regarded in those two nations than elsewhere, although a series of exhibitions of his work within other European nations might just help to redress the balance somewhat. Another issue regarding his legacy would be that most of his work is now to be found in just a few countries, which also restricts the prominence of his work in other galleries and museums, thus making it harder to discover his wonderful paintings without a little effort. Besides Sorolla, other related artists that you might also be interested in include the likes of Caillebotte, Bazille and Cassatt.