The dark profile of the twisting trunks that stands out against the green background lends the composition its rhythm whilst emphasising the ornamental aspect that Biéler wished to impart to this landscape constructed from colourful patches of uniform, unvaried tones. This arrangement recalls the thin trees vertically punctuating the canvases of Paul Gauguin, Maurice Denis or any of the Nabis, and resurrects the influence exercised by Japanese prints, which proved a rich vein for artists in the late 19th century.
To translate the delicate outlines of his subject, Biéler chose to work in tempera. He began employing the technique in 1905 and it prompted him to develop a more graphic style. “I was gradually abandoning the pictorial manners of Paris, the brushstrokes of oil painting, the colourings of Impressionism that had since become conventional. I was seeking a process linked with thin atmospheres, the absence of distance, the lack of haze… This use also connects him with the concerns of Art nouveau in the early 20 th century, certain characteristics of which can be seen in the Paysage de Zambotte, Savièse (Landscape of Zambotte, Savièse). There is the linearity and stylisation of the natural motifs, along with an attraction to handicrafts and the artisanal, seen here in the solid wood frame designed by the artist himself. Biéler would turn out numerous depictions of autumn landscapes from this region in Valais. He delighted in recreating the region’s particular radiance through the play of transparency and colour.