In 1922 Stieglitz produced his first series of images of clouds titled Music - A Sequence of Ten Cloud Photographs. This image, is the first in the sequence which John Szarkowski suggests was named "... perhaps in part because he felt the photographic gray scale analogous to the musical scale." (Alfred Stieglitz at Lake George, p. 27.)
Stieglitz in an article in the September 1923 issue of Amateur Photographer and Photography, "How I Came to Photograph Clouds" described the origins of his work with clouds.
Thirty-five or more years ago I spent a few days in Murren (Switzerland), and I was experimenting with ortho plates. Clouds and their relationship to the rest of the world, and clouds for themselves, interested me, and clouds which were most difficult to photograph - nearly impossible. Ever since then clouds have been in my mind most powerfully at times...
I wanted to photograph clouds to find out what I had learned in forty years about photography. Through clouds to put down my philosophy of life - to show that my photographs were not due to subject matter...I knew exactly what I was after. I had told Miss O'Keeffe I wanted a series of photographs which when seen by Ernest Bloch (the great composer) he would exclaim: Music! music! Man, why that is music! How did you ever do that? And he would point to violins, and flutes, and oboes, and brass, full of enthusiasm, and would say he'd have to write a symphony called "Clouds..." And when I finally had my series of ten photographs printed, and Bloch saw them - what I said I wanted to happen happened verbatim. (Greenough and Hamilton, Alfred Stieglitz, p. 207.)
This print was given to Sherwood Anderson by Stieglitz, a writer and close friend. In 1925, Stieglitz wrote to Anderson, "...I have been looking for years - 50 upwards - at a particular sky line of simple hills - how can I tell the world in words what that line has done for me - May be I have - somewhat - in those snapshots I've been doing the last few years..." (op. cit., p. 210.)