This is one of a series of pictures Marchand painted in 1913-15 of plants and other still-life objects set against a window. In these paintings he explored form, shapes and colours. The night-time setting enabled him to highlight the bright room and freesia flowers against the darker background. The Parisian Marchand experimented with the early Cubist style but by 1915 he had returned to making paintings with more truth to nature. The vase in 'Nocturne', however, was repainted at an unknown date to make it flatter and more Cubist in style.