In this work Thomson takes the sinuous forms of Art Nouveau and the brash and vivid colours of the early Expressionists and uses them to create his own composition. He places the pine tree alone in the middle of the canvas, lopped off at the top, transforming a simple subject into a strong and provocative statement. The twisted trunk and branches show age and perseverance, and bravery against the elements.
The painting may reflect Thomson’s state of mind at the time. He painted this canvas while the First World War was raging and survival, threatening circumstances, and the possibility of great loss had become paramount issues for everyone around him.