River Brain, Witham

River Brain, Witham

The River Brain, a tributary of the Blackwater, flows past Witham, one of the oldest settled areas of Essex. Du Plessis paints an idyllic pastoral scene, but he did not attempt to hide signs of progress, as did other Recording Britain artists: telephone poles and wires are visible at left. This watercolour is unusual in showing signs of the artist's working method. At the top of the sheet the ragged edge where it was torn from the sketchbook's spiral binding is still visible; Du Plessis almost certainly painted the picture on the spot.