Ben Nicholson was one of the most influential and important British artists whose work paved the way for abstraction in the U.K. He was born in 1894 and between 1910-11 studied at the Slade School of Art, London. In 1933 he co-founded Unit One with Henry Moore, Paul Nash and Barbara Hepworth whom he later married in 1938. Over the course of the next four decades his work was the subject of numerous solo and important group exhibitions in museums around the world and by the time he died in 1982, Nicholson's work had made a vital contribution to the development of British art in the 20th Century.

Aside from the reliefs for which he became internationally established, Nicholson made a significant body of prints, which he produced in phases rather than continuously throughout his life. Between the wars he carved relief prints - apart from one woodcut he worked only in linoleum; immediately after the Second World War he made a small group of drypoints and, in the 1960s, he executed a large group of etchings with the Swiss printer François Lafranca.