Vanessa Bell withdrew to Charleston for the majority of the Second World War, a tendency towards isolation perhaps fuelled by the death of her son Julian in 1937 and further exacerbated by the suicide of her sister Virginia Woolf in 1941. Consequently, many of her views of Charleston and the surrounding countryside date from this time. This snow scene bears some comparison to her landscape Snow at Tilton from 1941 which is now in the Arts Council Collection. The winter of 1940 to 1941 was notable for its heavy snowfall and it seems likely that this view of Charleston’s famous barn was painted at the same date.
The Charleston Newsletter, No.23, June 1989, reproduced in colour, Annex 2 page 58