Born in 1909, Daphne Charlton studied painting at the Slade School of Art. She married George Charlton, a fellow painter and teacher at the school, and the pair moved to 40 New End Square in Hampstead, London in 1932. In 1939, the Charlton’s became friends with fellow artist, Stanley Spencer, who had also studied at the Slade School of Art, who often visited them at their home in Hampstead. All three went on a painting holiday together in the summer of 1939 to Leonard Stanley, a remote village in Gloucestershire. During this stay Daphne Charlton painted Spencer`s portrait, and soon after their return to London Spencer produced a large scale portrait of her, which sits in the Tate collection.

It is believed that after a short period of returning to London they began an affair and Daphne went on to feature in a remarkable series of paintings and drawings by Spencer inspired by this period of time they spent together from 1939 to 1941. They remained in touch for the rest of Spencer’s life. This painting of Cookham holds significance because this is where Spencer’s permanent home was located.