Ink pen and gouache on continuous paper
13,5 x 21,2 cm
Nº inv. 10226
The subject of the work at sea is a subject which the work of Sorolla never fully abandons and this sketch, produced during his mature stage, is not an exception.
In this one we can observe recurring elements in his work like oxen, which endow the scene with a paused dynamism and incarnate the effort of a way of life or the sails of the boats which will enable doing a light and chromatic study of the volatile atmospheric conditions in the final work. Other elements of interest deepened in final canvases and which are implied in this sketch, are the movement of the waters, scribbled quickly or the agitated figures of the children running or swimming around.
In this sketch, we can read a series of inscriptions: a description of the scene with the quick calligraphy of the artist himself “Beach of Valencia/ Six bulls inside the sea are going to bring out/ the boats which come back from/ fishing” and annotations about the dimensions of a possible final painting. All of this indicates that it could be a study for a canvas, concretely “The arrival of the boats, Jávea” (1905), of similar composition. It is thought that the painter could have produced this sketch between 1903-1905, in Jávea.