Nicholson was exceptionally good at rendering the specific qualities of materials. Lead, pewter, tin and glazed ceramic vessels feature prominently in his many still-lifes and are given their own particular lustre. The skilful depiction of light on the bowl in this painting can be compared to the work of the Spanish artist Velázquez, whom Nicholson greatly admired. Nicholson reduced the still life motif to its basic ingredients. This tendency had a strong influence on his son Ben Nicholson, the abstract artist.