Although his stay in London from 1914 to 1919 was forced upon him by the war, Emile Claus underwent a remarkable artistic development there. Despite his advanced years he must have worked feverishly for a period of almost four years. The River Thames was an inexhaustible source of inspiration for an elaborate series of river scenes, while he was also drawn to the hectic life of the city. From an improvised studio in a small tower, Claus painted the changing atmospheric moods of the river and life on the wharf. In London his vivid pre-war Luminism changed and expressed itself in misty cityscapes painted in subdued colours.