In 1938 Carr enrolled in the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing run by Cedric Morris and Lett-Haines. 'The students at the school included Lucian Freud and Barbara Gilligan, who later became Carr's wife. (A double portrait by Cedric Morris of David and Barbara Carr is now in the Tate Gallery). Lucian Freud was only sixteen when they first met, and David Carr has left some amusing reminiscences of him at this early stage of his career. Moreover, either Carr or Freud may have been responsible for accidentally setting fire to Cedric Morris's Dedham painting school in July 1939. They had both been painting late and smoking, and the school caught fire and burnt down during the night' (B. Robertson and R. Alley, David Carr The Discovery of an Artist, London, 1987, p. 7).
The present work shows the school before and after the fire, and as with Carr's other work of this period, demonstrates the influence of Cedric Morris in it's painterly handling.