Gauguin's glowing colours convey the exotic character of the Martinique landscape. His brushstrokes are visible, but fuse into flatter areas of colour. The composition is finely balanced and carefully structured. It is the finest of a series of landscape paintings Gauguin produced in Martinique in 1887. He had travelled there from Panama before ill health forced his return to France. Gauguin dreamed of escaping from urban 'civilization' to a tropical paradise where life was mysterious, sensuous and closer to nature. His plans materialised a few years later when, in 1891, he left for Tahiti.