'No one who knew Daphne would ever remember her with indifference ... What a gorgon she could be, what an enchantress!'
– Ian Kellam
Born in 1909, Daphne Charlton studied painting at the Slade School of Art. She married George Charlton, a fellow painter and teacher at the school, and the pair moved to 40 New End Square in 1932. In 1939, the Charltons became friends with Stanley Spencer, who had also studied at the Slade School of Art, who often visited them at their home in Hampstead. Daphne Charlton and Spencer sat for paintings for each other, and it is believed that they had an affair.