Following the fall of the Commune in 1871, Pissarro returned from England to Louveciennes to find that his house at 22 rue de Versailles had suffered heavily under the Prussian occupation. His sister-in-law, Julie Vellay, had described to him in a letter prior to his return that "...the road is in a pitiful state. The road is unmanageable for cars, the houses are burned, windows, shutters, staircases and doors, are gone...[It] is uninhabitable" (J. Bailly-Herzberg, ed., Correspondence de Camille Pissarro, Paris, vol. I, pp. 69-70).
The artist did, nevertheless, rebuild his life in the village, and in comparison to rural Pontoise, Louveciennes provided Pissarro with a wider range of subjects. Pissarro switched his focus from the strict landscapes to a more suburban imagery. This change in subject matter was also accompanied by a shift in style. While the Pontoise landscapes were characterized by earth tones, in the present work, a brighter, lighter palette is apparent. Furthermore, Pissarro's brushwork is freer and more spontaneous, the result perhaps of the artist's contact with Monet.
Winter scenes in particular appealed to Pissarro, who was attracted to the play of light and shadow against the surface of the snow, and to the transformation of familiar objects into new and varied forms. Katherine Rothkopf writes:
[Pissarro] was, however, extremely proud of his effet de neige compositions and exhibited at least nine views of winter at the eight Impressionist exhibitions held periodically from 1874 to 1886, with relatively few breaks over the course of his career (K. Rothkopf, "Camille Pissarro: A Dedicated Painter of Winter", Impressionist in Winter-Effets de Neige, exh. cat., The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C., 1998-1999, pp. 39-40).