Research point - Ben Nicholson

Ben Nicholson was the son of the artists William Nicholson and Mabel Pryde. His early paintings of still lifes were influenced by his father. In 1920's be was inspired by Post Impressionism and Cubism and began painting abstract works. However, after the war, he found himself having to make a living and returned to painting landscapes, which he found easier to sell. As he was living in Cornwall at the time, many of his paintings were of the local scenery, particularly around St. Ives.


1943 (St Ives, Cornwall)

Soon, he started incorporating his still life images into the paintings, with views from windows with items being sat on a windowsill, and the landscape in the background.


1947 (Mousehole, Cornwall)


You can see the progression of his paintings, where the still life starts move closer into the landscape, slow slipping off the "windowsill", and they start to look very like cubism. The colours of the still life start to change too, to incorporate the colours of the landscape background. I think he simply saw beauty in everything around him (both everyday still life objects and landscapes) and wanted to merge the forms together.


1956 (Val d'Orcia)


Gradually the paintings become abstract and it is hard to really make out a landscape or still life, so I'm not sure if he actually intended these to be so, of it it was just a natural progression. 


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