Jan Zrzavý considered this drawing the turning point in his art that visualized the innermost feelings of despair and loneliness, as well as the synthesis of many different artistic stimuli. The drawing’s central motif is a female figure in a period dress, standing at a flowering tree. She turns to the viewer with a compelling expression that betrays her mental state. A fantastic, exotic−looking landscape spreads behind the Munch−like figure. In confrontation with the female figure, the soaring mountain peaks symbolize the male principle. Hence, in The Valley of Sadness, the vision of unfulfilled erotic desire asserts itself, reflecting the complex psyche of Zrzavý’s personality and his sexual orientation. One year after creating this pastel, Zrzavý made a larger oil painting based on the drawing.