Born in Oxford in 1893, Winifred Nicholson (née Roberts) was a colourist, whose impressionistic works tended to depict landscapes and still lifes, and often a combination of the two. She was fascinated both with colour and with flowers, her favourite subject matter.
Nicholson was initially taught by her grandfather (who had been friends with a number of the Pre-Raphaelites), before attending the Byam Shaw School of Art in the 1910s. At the end of this period, Nicholson traveled to India, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar. Upon her return, in 1920 Winifred married Ben Nicholson.
The Nicholsons lived and worked together in Switzerland and Britain, until Ben met Barbara Hepworth in 1931 and the couple separated. In the following year, Winifred moved to Paris with their three children. In the 1930s, Winifred trialed abstraction, but returned to her favoured subjects and styles soon afterwards. She spent the rest of her life with half of the year in Paris, and the other half in Cumberland.