During the 1830s, Corot often painted small-scale panoramic vistas of the countryside as he travelled around France.
In such works he sought to capture the tonality of the landscape and the effects of sunlight on natural forms. The view in the present painting is of the Seine from Rouen in north-western France.
Corot painted this from the top of the Tour du Gros Horloge in the centre of Rouen on one of his three trips to Normandy in 1829, 1830 and 1833. He looks to the west and the Ile Rollet, just visible on the left.