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During the years when Sorolla was working on the commission for the Hispanic Society, his summer holidays let him go back to his real love : painting in his own home territory, in the open air, from real life. Back in Valencia, he took up his favourite themes again, scenes of the beach and fisherfolk, but by now the almost epic dimensions of the work he was engaged in for the huge commission had altered his style.
Firmly anchored in the sand, with their clothes blowing in the wind, three women wait at the water’s edge for the boats to arrive laden with the day’s catch, to fill their baskets and take the fish for sale to the market stalls. The monumental figures seem to be inspired by the large format works the artist was busy with for the American commission, but also perhaps he wanted to dignify them, as a tribute and a testimony of his admiration for these hard-working women, shown here dressed here in spotless white with their children in their arms, waiting to collect the fish.

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