The glamour and excitement of Biarritz attracted Sorolla to stay there after his highly successful exhibition in Paris of 1906. Sorolla was inspired by the beauty of the coast as well as the social buzz that surrounded the many illustrious people who visited the highly fashionable resort. Sorolla took the opportunity to sketch as many as three or four studies a day, working en plein air 'Here, in Biarritz, he never relaxes...Hours and hours on the beach...in the sand, among the boulders, on the edge of the foaming waves, amongst the cosmopolitan visitors that wandered in front of the marvellous sea of Biarritz with distinguished indifference...' (M. López-Roberts cited in Joaquín Sorolla: Vida y Obra, pp. 249-250).
In the present work we see the contrast between the sophisticated elegant world that Sorolla found at Biarritz and the traditional informal way of life recorded in the apuntes executed in Valencia. Here Sorolla captures the effects of light and colour on the sand and waves, hinting at the mass of people on the beach with just a few brushstrokes describing their parasols and beach-tents. The scene conjures up both the pleasure-seeking refined values of Biarritz, and the inspiration and technique of Sorolla's apuntes; it perfectly exemplifies the velocity with which the artist worked his brush, and his obsession for capturing the essence of sunlight and movement.
The authenticity of this work has kindly been confirmed by Blanca Pons Sorolla.