This work was painted whilst Spencer was working on a series of nine oil paintings called ‘Domestic Scenes’. These paintings show scenes of everyday life around the home, such as dusting, speaking to neighbours in the back garden and going to bed. Made at a time when the artist was seeking a divorce from his first wife, Hilda, the paintings refer to memories of his marriage. This painting is unusual in Spencer’s oeuvre, which consisted primarily of figure paintings, landscapes and portraits. It is likely that when winter weather prevented Spencer from painting outdoors he turned instead to depicting a roaring fire.