Piper first painted the famous chateaux of the Loire in 1971, the year he visited Venice to make designs for Benjamin Britten's opera Death in Venice. Also at this time his dealers, Marlborough Fine Art, were asking for paintings on a big scale, and he took an interest in grand buildings with flamboyant architecture.
The roof pavilions at Chambord corresponded to Piper's original designs for Death in Venice, which used a group of tall, revolving structures. Here he experiments with a directional stage lighting, as if seen by night. This is one of the largest of his screenprints.