This early watercolour likely resulted from one of the cycling trips that Ravilious took with Bawden and Bliss around the Essex countryside.
Ravilious admired the work of Cotman, Towne and Palmer which at the time were being re-discovered by his contemporaries; his own watercolours have been described, like theirs, as distilled out of the ordinary experience’. Here the soft greens of the trees are set off against the red geometric forms of the house, his romantic response to nature balanced by an emotional distance.
A similar watercolour can be seen in the collection of the British Museum. This is titled ‘Red Cottage, Essex’, and is dated 1927.