This painting is part of a series of reclining nude figures that Modigliani began in 1917. Characterized by a frank, self-conscious sexuality, these paintings shocked contemporary audiences; police removed one from an exhibition in Paris for perceived impropriety. Also shocking was Modigliani's mixing together of several traditions across a single figure: while the masklike treatment of the face draws on the vocabularies of African sculpture, the languorous, sensual body recalls the nudes of European painters like Titian and Boucher.
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