The Lustre Bowl
© Elizabeth Banks

Reference URL

The Lustre Bowl 1911

On Display Modern One

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.

Glossary Open

Abstract art

Art in which there is no attempt to represent anything existing in the world, particularly used of the 20th century onwards. ‘Abstraction’ refers to the process of making images that may in part derive from the visible world but which are reduced to basic formal elements.


A distinctive element in a work of art or design.

Still life

A painting, drawing or photograph depicting inanimate objects.

Abstract art, Motif, Still life


  • Acc. No. GMA 4103
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 55.00 x 60.00 cm (framed: 81.80 x 87.00 x 7.50 cm)
  • Credit Bequeathed by Sir Alexander Maitland with life interest to Colonel Peter Dunphie. Presented by Colonel Dunphie 1997