Anne Redpath was born in the border town of Galshiels, the daugher of a tweed designer. She studied at Edinburgh College of Art from 1913-19, where she was awarded a travelling scholarship which took her to Belgium, France and Italy. In 1920 she married James Michie, whose work as an architect took them to France until 1934. During these years in northern France and then on the Riviera Anne had three children and did very little painting. However, after she moved to the borders and then Edinburgh she established herself as a leading painter of still life and landscape.
Throughout her life Redpath drew inspiration from her travels abroad in France, Italy, Spain, Corsica, Portugal and the Canary Islands. She explained in 1961 that her travels strengthened her palette, 'That has been the result, you know, of every voyage abroad ... Your palette sort of enlarges itself, so that even your very gamut of colour, you know, changes, becomes broader, wider'. Her approach to composition was also strengthened, 'I think that what I have got out of different countries, like the Canary Islands and Corsica, and Brittany and Portugal is something structural, so you see I haven't gone away really away from depicting the object, although it has a kind of abstraction, it is more structural, therefore more real in some way' (see P. Bourne, Anne Redpath 1895-1965, Her Life and Work, Edinburgh, 1989, p. 91).
During her painting trips Redpath would make numerous watercolour sketches of landscapes and interiors, from which she would later paint oils. Spring in Spain probably relates to her tour of Spain with her friend Bill Garrad in 1951 (see also lot 153, Quenca, Spain). Other trips abroad included a visit to Corsica in 1954 where she stayed with Donald Duff (see lot 154, Village in Corsica), and a visit to Portugal with her son David in 1961 (see lot 155, Boats at Nazaré, Portugal and lot 156, Holy Family, Belem, Portugal).