Throughout his long career, Kokoschka developed a special affinity for riverscapes, painting river scenes in many major European cities, including Prague, Lyons, Dresden and Salzburg. He painted and sketched many river views of London from 1925 to the early 1970s, most frequently looking up or downstream from buildings near Waterloo Bridge. This view looks down river toward St Paul's Cathedral. Painted during a hot October, the artist's vantage point was the roof of the Shell-Mex building on the Strand. The picture was painted entirely on the spot without preliminary studies of any kind.