This young girl walks barefoot along a sandy beach, carrying a basket filled with nets and fishing gear. It is the image of a daily chore which, far from wearing her down, keeps her feeling happy and free. Her figure does not darken the ground with shadows, nor do her feet leave prints in the sand. There is nothing to indicate that the weight of the basket oppresses her; on the contrary, everything about her has an almost unreal lightness, like the purest of hopes. She lifts one foot to take a step, removes both hands from her basket, and the act of balancing brings with it a smile.
This painting and the work entitled Maternity (V) offer two expressions of pleasure with a certain affinity between them.
The girl of the sea lifts up her arms, which, together with her smile, shows that her work is not all tension; there is also room in it for joy, bringing relief and peace in her toil.
The child in Maternity (V) raises his right arm, likewise accompanied by a smile, to touch the right hand of his mother; the left hands of both mother and child are aligned and form prolongations of each other. The way the figure of the child is arranged conveys a sense of expansive joy and trusting pleasure.