The artist Mary Fedden brought to perfection a style that married a very English sensibility to a modern European one, a sensibility that, with a little imagination, can be seen to reach back to the Elizabethan miniaturist Nicholas Hilliard. More immediately, she drew on the aesthetic of Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood. Despite the vogue for abstract expressionism in the late 1950s, she remained rooted in the European tradition of belle peinture (beautiful painting), in its literal translation: a middle-class sweetness of subject elevated beyond sentimentality by its exactness in drawing, judgment of texture and freshness derived from high artifice.