Sir William Nicholson

Studio Still Life


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Not on display

Sir William Nicholson 1872–1949
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 1314 × 1626 mm
frame: 1545 × 1850 × 113 mm
Bequeathed by Edward Knoblock 1945

Display caption

This unusually large still life shows an unframed painting by Nicholson of the Palais Royal in Paris, with his own studio equipment arranged around it. It was a gift from the artist to the theatre producer Edward Knoblock, who had lent him his flat in the Palais Royal. At the right there is a letter from Nicholson, saying 'My dear Knoblock, Here you are, it's the best I can do. Yours affectionately, William Nicholson'. The picture may then have been painted as a present in recognition of Knoblock's kindness.
The strong eighteenth-century overtones of several of the objects, including the gilt bust and the ivory flute, suggest a conscious act of homage to Chardin.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry


Inscr. on letter, ‘30 Rue Montpensier Palais Royal Paris [as letter heading] Thursday [?] 1914 My dear Knoblock, Here you are! it's the best I can do. Yours affectionately, William Nicholson’.
Canvas, 51 3/4×64 (131·5×162).
Bequeathed by Edward Knoblock 1945.
Lit: Browse, 1956, p.57.

Painted in Paris at the same time as the decorative paintings on glass commissioned by Edward Knoblock for his flat in the Palais Royal (for these see Steen, 1943, p.116). The painting shown behind the other still-life objects depicts the Palais Royal.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II

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