Sylvia Marguerite Agnes St. George was born in Hampshire, though she spent much of her life in Cambridge Road, Colchester. She painted many local scenes including Castle Park, Colchester and other views like Colchester from the North. She was involved with the Colchester Art Society, where she met John Nash and Cedric Morris, and she later taught at the Colchester Institute. Sylvia studied at Edinburgh School of Art and the Slade. She also studied in Paris, visited Munich and spent a long period of time in India, whose vibrant and exotic environment had a lasting effect on her work.
The location from which Colchester from the North was painted is south of the railway bridge in Bakers Lane, Colchester on land that is now a golf course. The whole area is more widely covered in trees than in the 1930’s, when it was mostly farmland and open spaces. The original view, which no longer exists, depicts the town hall clock tower and St Nicholas Church (to the left of the picture), which was demolished in the 1960’s. The Church tower (centre right) is St Peters on North Hill and Jumbo the water tower stands majestic on the right. In the picture there are signs the river is high, as water shows behind the hedge on the right; this very rarely happens today, though the meadows regularly flooded as recently as the late 1960s.
Exhibitions 1992, 22nd February-28th March, The Minories Art Gallery, Colchester.