This is a very interesting painting from a significant period in British history that saw many changes both in culture and art. The picture has been painted onto an oak panel which has been prepared with gesso. The materials which have been used do not appear to be that sophisticated and the varnish has bubbled in some areas, however, the execution is quite complex with different mediums at play, maybe with inks, as well as paint, also some of the detail has been accentuated with drawing onto the wet paint. Observing under an eyeglass, the signature seems almost clear in places but is still frustratingly difficult to read; perhaps with extensive research, it may be possible to identify who painted the picture from the short poetic line written at the bottom of the painting, the poem is also repeated on the back of the panel.
In British art history, the term “neo-romanticism” is applied to a loosely affiliated school of landscape painting that emerged around 1930 and continued until the early 1950s. It was first labelled in March 1942 by the critic Raymond Mortimer in the New Statesman. These painters looked back to 19th-century artists such as William Blake and Samuel Palmer, but were also influenced by French cubist and post-cubist artists such as Pablo Picasso, André Masson, and Pavel Tchelitchew (Clark and Clarke 2001; Hopkins 2001). This movement was motivated in part as a response to the threat of invasion during World War II. Artists particularly associated with the initiation of this movement included Paul Nash, John Piper, Henry Moore, Ivon Hitchens, and especially Graham Sutherland. A younger generation included John Minton, Michael Ayrton, John Craxton, Keith Vaughan, Robert Colquhoun, and Robert MacBryde (Button 1996).