From the middle of the 1930s, Paul Delvaux, influenced by the work of Giorgio De Chirico, began to experiment with settings and perspective. From this time on, the same motifs often recurred in his work: expressionless figures, temples drawn from classical antiquity or the Renaissance with an explicit, sometimes complex perspective and bathed in an unnatural light. This setting, in tones of grey with very few colour accents, heightens the unreal atmosphere evoked in such paintings as The Staircase. However Delvaux makes no use of irony, which is a typical feature of Surrealism. His art, which is solemn and rather detached, is more related to the Magic Realism of the Dutch artist Albert Carel Willink.