Impressionist landscape painters not only worked en plein air during the spring and summer months, but also pursued the effects of light and colour in inclement winter weather. Scholars believe this painting was completed by the end of the 1880s, a period in which the suburbs of Paris experienced bitter wintry conditions. A meteorologist of the time described them in the following manner:
The winter . . . has been one of the harshest ever experienced in
Paris. To begin with, the month of November was colder than
usual . . . . The second half of the month was especially cold;
there were thirteen days of frost with minimum temperatures of
-6.5 degrees on November 16 and -6.7 degrees on November 28.