Nicholson first came to prominence in the 1890s with his brother-in-law James Pryde, as the poster designers ‘The Beggarstaff Brothers’. From 1902 Nicholson concentrated on painting and became celebrated for his portraits, landscapes and still lifes. Following the death of his first wife Mabel Pryde, William Nicholson married the painter Edith Stuart Wortley in 1919 and they moved to Sutton Veny in Wiltshire four years later. This prompted a change in Nicholson’s style: he employed lighter colours and used a palette knife as well as a brush. This still life is an example of this later style.