Losada's interest in renewing his sources of inspiration and iconographic models led him to travel to different enclaves of the Basque territory. This is the context in which the canvas The Rowers was painted, portraying a traineras (originally, fishing boats) competition. The presence of the trainera in the foreground, depicted diagonally, and the rhythmic effort of the oarsmen are enhanced by a vigorous drawing and a slight roughness of colour. On the other hand, the colour of the calm surface of the sea is subtler and indebted to Post-Impressionism. The general atmosphere of the painting and its clear derivation from the art of poster design reveal the most modern aspects of Losada's work.
Manuel Losada was not only a distinguished painter but also a prominent administrator and became the first director of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum. In his youth Losada travelled all over the Castilian plateau and lived a bohemian life in Paris with his colleagues Zuloaga, Durrio and Uranga. In this way his apprenticeship was nourished both by classical Spanish painting and the breakthroughs of French Impressionism and Symbolism. His most well-known works are his unreal romantic evocations in pastels and oils of light-hearted features of pre-industrial Bilbao. [S.A.]
Ana Galilea Antón. "A propósito de las obras del Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao depositadas en otras instituciones" en Urtekaria 1992 : asterlanak, albistak = anuario 1992 : estudios, crónicas. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 1993, p. 203. n. º 10.
José Antonio Larrinaga Bernárdez. Manuel Losada, 1865-1949 : catálogo razonado : óleos, pasteles, dibujos. Bilbao : Asociación para el Estudio y Catalogación de los Artistas Vascos ; Galería Mun, 2004, pp. 81-82, 183.
Santiago Arcediano. Guía de Artistas Vascos. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 2008 (1ª ed. 2008; ed. inglés), pp. 49- 50, n.º 22, ad vocem.
Santiago Arcediano. Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao : guía. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 2011 (1ª ed. 2006; ed. inglés; ed. francés; ed. euskera), p. 140, n.º 97, ad vocem.