This painting depicts a traditional still life subject, popular with British modernists of the 1920s. Its flattened composition and strong outlines show the influence of the French painters Picasso and Braque, whilst the painterly style is reminiscent of Fauvist painter Maurice Vlaminck.
Christopher Wood was born in Knowsley, Merseyside in 1901. His father was a doctor on the Earl of Derby’s estate. The period between 1925 and 1926, when this still life was painted, was a particularly important time in the life of Christopher Wood. Though only taking up oil painting two years earlier, by 1925 Wood was moving in the highest artistic and social circles in Paris. This was largely thanks to his relationship with the incredibly well-connected Chilean socialite and diplomat, Antonio de Gandarillas, who had introduced him to influential avant-garde artists such as Jean Cocteau. In early 1926, Gandarillas's aunt, the innovator of minalismist interior design and renowned patron of the arts Eugenia Errázuriz (1860–1951), brought Picasso to see Wood's studio. His positive words of encouragement greatly inspired Wood. Later that year, he had his first exhibition with Paul Nash at the Redfern Gallery, London and began working on designs for the ballet impresario Serge Diaghilev. In the summer of that year, he also began a short-lived and stormy relationship with Jeanne Bourgoint, the inspiration for the character of Elizabeth in Cocteau's famous novel 'Les Enfants Terrible'. She became a model for several of his drawings and paintings.