Sorolla often painted his family at leisure. This subject area allowed the artist considerable expressive freedom, since in many cases these paintings were not intended for sale but painted for himself.
Siesta belongs to this group of paintings. Painted during the family’s summer stay in San Sebastian, this conception of this canvas shows great freedom and modernity. As in other very personal paintings (such as the The Little Sailing Boat ), Sorolla excludes the horizon and develops the whole scene at ground level so that it is much closer to the viewer.
Four female figures are resting on the grass: the artist’s wife, their two daughters and one of their cousins. Three are asleep and the fourth is reading, lying face down. The brush strokes in this painting are unusually quick and sketchy even for Sorolla, and he seems to snatch up his brushes, anxious to capture this fleeting moment of peace, with this extraordinary sea of green grass which cushions the figures on itscool softness.