The painting features three fisherwomen hard at work. They stare out to sea from the shoreline of Valencia - the artist's native city, and perhaps his favourite place of all to work from. One can find countless more exampes of how he loved the beaches of this region, which were filled with life and culture, as well as allowing him to make use of the bright light which saturated these natural surroundings. Many of the activities found here would be traditional and that brought an additional charm to many of Sorolla's paintings. Other examples in which the same palette appears would be Women Walking on the Beach and Sad Inheritance. The artist also received several awards for his depictons of Valencia, which increased his desire to paint scenes from his native land. Sorolla was also interested in the working lives of those who were merely aiming to survive year-on-year, even though his career would take him into the company of the middle classes as it developed. He never lost his love and curiosity for the working poor, and here we find another example of that.
Despite the stunning location, life could still be tough. We find one of the fisherwomen here with her young baby hoisted over her shoulder, whilst another woman holds a child close to her chest. These women would have to essentially fill two roles at the same time, in order to help their respective husbands with their own work, out at sea. Shadows are cast across the scene, covering the near foreground of the beach, whilst the women are covered in a combination of dark shadow and the occasional window of bright light which strike against their figures. They wear thick, hardwearing clothing which would have been pragmatic choices for the lives that they lead, although the heavy use of white colour on much of their attire brings a brightness to the scene. The women look middle aged and strong, no doubt having worked hard in a physical capacity for many years. In the background we find a number of other individuals enjoying some leisure time, which perhaps underlines the hard work that these woman nearest us are putting in for their livelihoods.
This is another of the artist's output to be found within the permanent collection of the Museo Sorolla in Madrid, Spain. They provide an impressive survey of the artist's career, with several key works from his oeuvre on display, as well as a large amount of supplementary documentation around his life. His reputation and success reached higher levels in some European countries than others, with his position outside of the French Impressionist group leaving him somewhat isolated with some art historians. In recent years there seems to have been a greater acceptance of his considerable artistic qualities in nations that had previously not embraced him quite as willingly as his native Spain, where he continues to be regarded as critical to the nation's cultural output. There have also been several exhibitions which have travelled across several parts of Europe and these have helped to refresh our memories on the considerable achievements that he made.