Music was born in Gorizia, an Italian town on the border with Slovenia. He came from a rural Slovenian family, which was forced to move frequently to adjust to the changing political landscape and economic fortunes resulting from the formation of the Yugoslav republic after the First World War. He lived for a time in Dalmatia, a mountainous region along the coast of the Adriatic, an experience that later provided the source of his most celebrated themes, the motivos Dalmatas. He studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Zagradia, and later lived in Spain, where he was drawn to the paintings of El Greco and Goya. Music moved to Venice in 1940, where he painted church frescos, developing a style based on Byzantine art, the trecento Italian painters Cimabue and Giotto, and the early Renaissance master Piero della Francesca. He was deported to the Dachau concentration camp in 1944, an experience he recounted in later paintings. Music resumed painting after the end of the war, and in 1952 had his first major solo exhibition at the Galerie de France in Paris. He settled in Paris the following year.
The present painting was done at the height of his early postwar phase, the late 1940s and early 1950s, in which he featured memories of the Dalmatian landscape. He had by this time forged his signature archaic style, in which he abandoned traditional space in favor of a flattened simplicity of form. He preferred subdued color tonalities, and while his landscapes are often crowded with animals or people, they project a tranquil and timeless stillness. Music later wrote: "I now found myself at the cross-point of several different civilisations: the Eastern-Slavic, the Western-Latin and the Northern-Germanic. This feeling made me more receptive to the dreamed reality than for the aggressive truth (that can be wonderful too) and the acceptance of the Renaissance" (quoted in Music, Munich, 1978, p. XVIII).