Ben Nicholson's still lifes of the 1940s "show a switch away from the analytic intensity of the abstractions toward the sensuous pleasures of gay color, rich texture, and elegant linear movement. The grounds of these works are built up with several thin layers of paint that are scraped or rubbed in areas, producing a nuanced color-space that dissolves away the picture plane. Nicholson's willowy line glides through this space but now traces the silhouettes or fragments of tabletops and still life objects. Interspersed planes, some of them solidly colored, others transparent or lightly shaded, create a sense of shifting, ambiguous spatial relations. These paintings would be impossible without the prior discoveries of Cubism, and perhaps of all the Cubist painters, Juan Gris offers in his work the closest comparisons; Nicholson transformed the Cubist vocabulary, however, into a personal mode of expression more abstract, airy, and lyrical" (S. A. Nash, Ben Nicholson, Fifty Years of His Art, Buffalo, New York, 1978, p. 83). The present work was exhibited at Nicholson's critically acclaimed retrospective at the 1954 Venice Biennale, where he won the coveted Ulisse award.