Edward Burra was born in 1905 in London. He lived at his family’s home in Playden, East Sussex for most of his life due to his life long health problems which might have steered him towards him being an artist. He was educated from home, never needing to work due to his family’s wealth
Burra worked almost exclusively in watercolour, however his tones are rich and dense rather than diluted and subtle. He always worked on a tabletop rather than on an easel, most likely because he found it most comfortable. Although he spent a lot of time observing his surroundings, Burra worked from memory. He would plan out his paintings and then would fill in the colour, starting from the bottom right.
Later in Burra’s life he was taken on driving tours of Britain by his sister. His landscape paintings were inspired by real places. Burra said he was fascinated by the lines on the hills that play a dominant role in the painting
This painting is of a valley south of the Cheviots near Alnwick, depicting an untouched part of the landscape. Other paintings he had done juxtaposed the country with motorways and trucks to reflect Burra’s concern about the destruction of Britain.