It has been suggested that the castle in the background is Narrow Water Castle, Co. Down, Northern Ireland.
Nicholl was a founder member of the Belfast Association of Artists and divided his career between Belfast, Dublin and London, exhibiting regularly at the Royal Hibernian Academy and the Royal Academy.
Nicholl's technique is marked by his distinctive use of scratching out as can be seen in the present watercolour. In A. Crookshank and The Knight of Glin's publication, The Watercolours of Ireland, London, 1995, pp. 167-9, the authors comment on this particular type of watercolour by Nicholl:
'These flower paintings are usually composed with wild flowers, mostly poppies, cornflowers and daisies, in the foregrounhd and a landscape seen behind or through them. The flowers are often imaginatively coloured, the poppies blue as well as red, and the topographical landscape microscopically observed, with a recognizable building such as Dunluce Castle, the Mussenden Temple (plate 223) or Kingston Harbour very faintly discernable in the distance. These would appear to be totally original compositions, and because the scale of the flowers and buildings is so irrational they have a surrealist quality... The finest of Nicholl's flower pieces do remain among the most memorable and beautiful watercolours that Ireland has purchased.'