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David Hockney was born in Bradford and studied at the Bradford College of art before attending the Royal College of Art from 1959 to 1962 where he was initially influenced by Abstract Expressionism. Later he would become involved in the Pop Art movement before developing into a straightforward representational artist, exploiting strong, light colors usually in flat paint.

A Bigger Splash was painted in California in the early summer of 1967. It is a record of a typical warm, sunny, cloudless day from the position of the shadows cast by the eaves of the building and the chair, it appears to be midday when the sun is highest in the sky and the heat is most intense. The solitary figure, who has just dived into the pool, has been deliberately overwhelmed by the strength and composure of the rest of the composition. The hidden depths of this picture take longer to assimilate than its immediate and joyful and decorative appeal. The only section to break the balanced and cool abstraction of the strong horizontals and verticals is the diagonally placed diving board and the splash.