Kelly moved from London to live in Paris in 1901. He took informal lessons from the Canadian artist James Wilson Morrice, who also lived in Paris. Morrice's advice was that he should paint every day out in the open, making small oil sketches as an exercise. This is one of these sketches, made near his studio, looking along the Boulevard Montparnasse to the café 'La Coupole'. He did not intend them to be studies for a larger work, and kept them in his studio. None of them was seen by the public until his retrospective exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1957.