‘1946 (still life)’ is painted to give the illusion of a board in relief. It was made in St Ives when Ben Nicholson produced fewer of the abstract reliefs for which he was known. The brightly painted, flattened geometrical shapes in the centre relate to jug handles, glasses and bottles, and attest to Nicholson’s interest in still life.
Although Nicholson made rigorously abstract works he also painted works which referred to the natural world, including still-life objects. His lifelong fascination with still-life was most likely inherited from his father, the artist William Nicholson, along with a substantial collection of glasses, goblets, jugs and mugs, many of which appear in his works.