information from the Smithsonian American Art Museum catalog
description: At the Water Trough is an early work by J. Alden Weir, which he painted in the fall of 1876 after returning to Paris from a trip to Spain. It is the only known painting from this trip, and was based on sketches and photographs that Weir made in the Spanish city of Granada. This scene, which shows people gathering at a water fountain to exchange news and take a rest from their daily chores, would have been a common sight in Spain at that time, as indoor plumbing was not yet widespread. The painting was exhibited the following year at the National Academy of Design in New York.
Recreation – courting
Cityscape – Italy
Figure group – female and child
Occupation – domestic – water carrier