This composition is closely based on a charcoal drawing of 1908 (see Kennedy, 2007, no. 150). The setting is almost certainly near Knaphill, Surrey, where Henry lived from 1903 until 1910 before he moved to Ireland. Commenting on the original drawing, which was shown at the Allied Artist's Association and at the Goupil Gallery, Salon, London, in 1908, and was again included in the artist's exhibition at Mills Hall, Dublin, in April 1918, the Freeman's Journal (9 April 1918) noted its 'hysterical energy and sensitive handling', a remark that is equally appropriate to the present painting with its menacing rain-laden clouds. Throughout his life Henry often made paintings from drawings done earlier, although the 1908 drawing was a finished work rather than a mere sketch. The West Wind, however, which in concept and execution is quite distinct in manner from Henry's normal style of the 1920s, was shown at the Dublin Painters' Society exhibition in November 1921, on which occasion the Irish Times (1 November 1921) opined that the group of poplars, 'seen in autumn on a bare common, swinging in a gale', was 'entirely unlike any of the score of canvases that [Henry] has shown this year in the [Dublin Painters'] gallery, and finer than any of them'. There is a letter of 13 January 1922 relating to the picture in the original owner's possession.