In the course of the twelve year period during which O'Conor was based in Brittany, he executed a handful of street scenes and views of houses nestled in the landscape so that only their roofs were visible. The Red Roofs (Tate Britain) of about 1892 and Village Scene (private collection) of 1898 were characterised by strong Post-Impressionist colours - vivid orange, yellow, green and red - in keeping with the artist's direct inheritance from Gauguin and Van Gogh.
By the early years of the twentieth century, he had decided to rein in his expressionist fury and opt for a naturalistic approach that had more in common with the methods of the Impressionists. His series of river scenes painted at Montigny-sur-Loing in 1902 echoed quite directly Monet's famous series devoted to poplar trees on the River Epte of 1890-91. Roof tops, a village was most probably painted at Pont-Aven in 1901 or 1902 and may even depict the view looking out over the town from his studio window in the Hôtel Julia. Normally, he preferred to seek out more remote locations for his landscapes, but his work at this time was becoming increasingly studio-based with a greater focus on figure subjects and still lifes - a reaction, no doubt, to the ever-growing popularity of Pont-Aven with artists and tourists alike. Sequestered in his studio, he had a bird's-eye view of the orange and russet roofs of the densely clustered houses, an everyday sight perhaps, and yet highly evocative of the place he had adopted as a second home. It is evocative of his fellow painters, too, for Emile Bernard devoted several canvases of 1892 to Pont-Aven rooftops, whilst Gauguin's painting of 1894, Farm in Brittany (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), deployed a very similar colour range to that of the present work.
Working quickly, O'Conor applied his colours wet-in-wet onto unprimed canvas, having first drawn a basic outline of the composition in blue paint. He had created a patchwork of blocks of contrasting colours, chiefly orange and green, punctuated with patches of blue and purple which pick up the tints used in the sky. There is a hint of autumn sunshine colouring the distant line of the trees.