This is a portrait of Asturian painter Agustín Otermín y García Bustamente (Vidiago, 1870-1956), a disciple of Sorolla. He was an outstanding artist who, nevertheless, gave up painting before reaching maturity. The picture is horizontal in form, a frequent formant in many of Sorolla’s portraits. It seems that, in this way, the artist wanted to show his sitters in their surroundings, instead of merely portraying their figures.
Strictly contemporary with the famous work by Sorolla, iOtra Margarita! (Another Marguerite!), was displayed along with this picture at the Madrid National Exhibition of 1892 (which that year was international). This was the first great work by Sorolla to be inserted into the domesticated naturalism that became fashionable in Spanish official art circles at the end of the eighties. As in the above picture, the scene depicted in this portrait features a prominent wooden surface, and the treatment of the subject takes the form of accentuated realism that foregoes the forced use of anecdote of the kind of genre painting practiced at that time. The person being painted appears to have been surprised in his studio, preparing his palette and not looking at the viewer as is the case with conventional portraits