Born in Bucharest in 1895, Janco devoted himself to painting from an early age. In 1915 he studied architecture at the Polytechnical School in Zurich where he established contacts with artists and writers including Jean Arp and Tristan Tzara; and with them co-founded Dada in 1916. In 1920, the Dada founders moved to Paris, where Dada evolved into Surrealism. Opposing this, Janco returned to Romania in 1922 where he founded the first Romanian modernist movement "Contemporanul" in 1923. From 1924-1936, he exhibited with this group with the participation of Arp, Brancusi, Klee, Schwitters and others. During this period he was also active as an architect, designing modernist buildings in Romania in collaboration with his brother Jules.
This complex port scene from 1930 is characteristic of Janco's paintings from this period. The spiralling elements in the foreground emphasize the structural, architectural hills and rooftops in the background. Expressionistic lines, strong colors, dynamic movement and rhythmic spacing of the composition capture the bustling nature of this maritime region, which so fascinated Janco.