A sad and misty atmosphere identifies Brittany, the adopted place of Souza Pinto, representing the melancholic aspect of his work, that opposed the sunny corners of Portugal, especially in Benfica, where he lived. After a stay in France as a fellow student (1880) he oscillates between two different sensations of light regulated by the climatic aspects of each of these regions.
The somber subject, with its sentimental and somewhat scenographic drama, considering the layout of the figures and the signs that identify it (the boat wreck and the anchor), refers to a lamented maritime tradition, represented by the fishermen’s wives.
Aesthetically, Barco Desaparecido reveals a para-Impressionist marking, played primarily by the mist surrounding the composition, although inscribed in a line of formal conventionality that the figurative outline does not dilute. In soft tones, close to the pastel, technique that he would use skillfully, the painter develops a late and eclectic naturalism, influenced by Bastien-Lepage, Julien Breton or Albert Besnard, in a scene of great chromatic containment and mutism of the characters.