Between 1927 and 1930 Kupka underwent a great personal and artistic crisis. His health turned poor, and his 1926 album of woodcuts, Quatre Histoires de Blanc et Noir, was a critical and financial failure. In his anxiety he ceased to exhibit at the Salon des Indépendants between 1926 and 1933.
During this period Kupka began a series of paintings based on machinery, which may have served as a metaphor for the impersonal forces he felt oppressing him. By 1930 the circular and angular forms of these paintings assumed a more abstract character, and in the present work, he has integrated the softer, organic forms of his earlier pictures. The resultant vocabulary of forms enriched his painting throughout the 1930s.