Stanley Spencer first visited Southwold in Suffolk in the autumn of 1924 after he had followed his future wife, the painter Hilda Carline, to the nearby village of Wangford.
After their wedding in Wangford Church in 1925 they left the area. But in 1937 Spencer returned alone, having tried in vain to heal the breach in their relationship.
The morning after his arrival in Suffolk he began his painting of Southwold beach.
He wrote at the time of the 'dirty washing water colour sea' which was 'splashed by the homely aunties' legs' and of the Southwold air which 'was full of suburban seaside abandonment'.
As an escape from his own emotional distress Spencer set out to capture this carefree summer scene and the result was one of the most appealing of all his paintings.
Bio information courtesy of Orwell Press Art Publishing