The strong horizontal and vertical brushstrokes in this painting show Soulages's interest in oriental calligraphy. In the year this work was painted the artist visited Japan, where he met several calligraphers. Soulages uses broad, solid brushstrokes to create an abstract composition, in which he achieves a careful balance between opposing directions of paint. The appearance of red underneath the heavy black paint gives the painting a sense of warmth. The titles of Soulages's works refer to the date of completion of each, though they may have been begun weeks or months earlier.