Here the artist shows his three children: his son Joaquín standing, his older daughter María seated on the left and Elena, the younger daughter, on the right. The presence of this canvas in various international exhibitions during the artist’s lifetime suggests the importance Sorolla attached to it, not just as a family scene, but as evidence of his progress and artistic maturity.
There is no doubt that Sorolla had Velázquez in mind when he turned this portrait of his family into an ambitious painting transcending this intimate subject. It has often been suggested that Sorolla took his inspiration for this portrait from Las Meninas, mainly because of the placing of the group in the foreground and the depth of the background, and also because of the canvas prepared for the portrait which can be seen on the right at the edge of the painting. The atmosphere evoked here is reminiscent of John Singer Sargent’s Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, another famous group portrait also inspired by Las Meninas, exhibited in the Paris Salon of 1883 and which Sorolla may have seen.