Paysage avec 3 personnages follows Dubuffet's previous preoccupation with the human body to explore the ambiguous relationship between the earth and its occupants. The three figures are seen wandering, almost floating, through this primeval terrain, and are almost indistinguishable from their surroundings. This deliberate dissolution of form reflects the deep influence of Dubuffet's journeys to the Saharan deserts, where buildings, trees and figures blend seamlessly into the land and are only sharply defined when silhouetted against the sky. In approaching his work in this way, Dubuffet sought to articulate a sense of the continuity binding all living matter that he felt had long been undermined by the oppressive influence of European culture and history.
In this way, Paysage avec 3 personnages represents the culmination of Dubuffet's aim to create art that somehow embodies nature, rather than just represents it. Through the unrestrained and adventurous interaction with his materials, he has not only replicated the texture of soil and skin, but has also produced a phantasmagorical world of strange yet familiar images. "These are landscapes of the brain," Dubuffet explained, "They aim to show the immaterial world which dwells in the mind of man: disorder of images, of beginnings of images, of fading images, where they cross and mingle, in a turmoil, tatters borrowed from memories of the outside world, and facts purely cerebral and internal--visceral perhaps" (in Dubuffet, exh. cat., New York, Museum of Modern Art, 1962, p. 71).