The present composition, which has never been seen in public before, dates from the late 1950s when Scott's still lifes show great variety. Still Life has a rich surface, thick with impasto, displaying hints of ochre-orange underpaint. Ronald Alley discusses the still lifes from 1957-58, suggesting a gradual development towards a second period of abstraction, 'Though still life remained the theme for most of his paintings, the pots and pans began to lose their identity and to turn into irregular oblong or lozenge shapes ... The edges of the table became sinuously undulating, the pots leaned to left or right and clustered together or drifted apart, appearing at times to float slowly across the picture in a more or less clock-wise direction. Often they were concentrated at one side or other of the painting and were partly cut off by the edges, while occasionally still involved some suggestion of the human figure. Yet the effect was always of a harmony both calm and radiant. This impression was enhanced by the richness of the colours, which were sometimes dark and mysterious, sometimes glowing with a fiery incandescence; each picture having its particular colour key.
The quality of the picture surface was now extremely important, the textural contrasts, the thin paint and the thick paint and the scratched lines. But although Scott treated oil paint as a delectable substance, he was anxious to avoid a too perfect finish, a facile smartness. Hence his careful-careless way of applying the paint, his practice of allowing corrections to show through, and his liking for what he calls 'the beauty of the thing done badly'.
Though the enscrusted impasto and colour blocks of certain of these works may have owed something to Nicolas de Staël (a memorial exhibition of whose work was shown in London in the summer of 1956), Scott was, as always, quick to absorb his borrowings and made them his own. The blocks of colour in his paintings in fact resembled the old stones in the dry stone walls surrounding his cottage and studios at Hallatrow' (see R. Alley, William Scott, London, 1963).