This is one of the best early paintings of Utrillo. It was in Montmagny in 1902 that Suzanne Valadon undertook to teach her son of painting, in order to distract him from the addiction to alcohol. Utrillo portrayed a beautiful view from his window on the city’s roofs and the mosaic re-weaving of tall factory pipes, visible in the distance.
In the foreground we see branches of trees that go into perspective and blend harmoniously with the industrial landscape in the background. The houses are painted with a rich, but muted color, which may seem even somewhat gloomy because of the predominance of dark colors. The dark elements of the landscape contrast sharply with the bright sky.
Unlike impressionists, Utrillo did not try to capture the play of light on the details of the landscape; during this period he was interested only in the possibilities of color as such. The paints on this canvas are applied in a pure form, without mixing, using a broad brushstroke, and the whole picture is written “in one sitting.”