By 1917 Lavery was growing restless in war-time London and gladly accepted the chance to leave the city when the Duke of Westminster invited him to stay at Landes. He travelled via Paris and Mimizan to St Jean de Luz where he arrived in early April. Amongst several works produced on the trip, the most important group was specifically focused on the harbour there. The horizontal emphasis of the present work, punctuated by the moving ships is highly reminiscent of Whistler's seascapes such as Crepuscule in Flesh Colour and Green: Valparaiso, (1866, Coll. Tate Britain, London) and Symphony in Grey and Green: The Ocean (circa 1867, Frick Collection, New York).
The canvas is laid on board. The varnish has slightly discoloured and there is some surface dirt otherwise in good original condition with some strong passages of impasto, notably along the horizon. Ultraviolet light reveals a patchy, heavy varnish, and an area to the right section in which there is some minor fluorescence. Held in a plaster gilt frame. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."