At the beginning of their marriage, Hunt and his wife lived in Old Elvet in Durham. He returned to the city throughout his career and made many drawings of Durham and the surrounding countryside. Hunt was concerned with the overall impression of a place. His treatment of light and atmosphere showed the evolving character of the seasons.
This watercolour shows the three towers of the cathedral against the south-western sky. The main keep of Durham Castle, begun by William the Conqueror (1027/8-1087) in 1072, is visible on the far right. The 12th century Elvet Bridge crosses the River Wear in the foreground. It was probably made around 1881. It was exhibited that year at the Old Watercolour Society (now the Royal Watercolour Society) in London. Hunt was born in Liverpool. He went to Oxford University but returned to the city as a young man to pursue his career as an artist. He was very influenced by Pre-Raphaelite artists and ideas.