Graham Sutherland studied art at Goldsmith's College, specialising in etching. He became a key figure in a group of artists known as the 'neo-romantics' who drew on the English landscape tradition. In the 1930s he was influenced by Miró, Picasso and Ernst and contributed to the 1936 International Surrealist Exhibition.
Sutherland developed a distinctive, personal visual language, using images from landscape and infusing them with intense emotional feeling. Later he added other genres to his repertoire, including portraiture, studies based on birds, animals and insects and ecclesiastical commissions - most notably the enormous tapestry 'Christ in Glory' at Coventry Cathedral.
His exploration of the world of bees in this series of aquatints reflects his lifelong perception of the intimate link between art and nature and in it he probes the bees' mysterious and dramatic life of industry and interdependence.