Durham is possibly one of Hunt's favourite subjects. Hunt had a close affinity with the city, his wife's native town, and it was here that he settled in 1852 having given up his fellowship at Oxford and decided on a career as a painter. He remained there until 1865 and then returned on a number of occasions to paint.
The influence of his father first inspired Hunt to paint but it was contact with Ruskin after his early exhibitions in London that had the most profound effect on his painting. Hunt gave up a fellowship at Oxford to pursue a career as an artist and became one of the most experimental and yet modest Victorian landscape painters.