This provocative image of a naked woman was possibly made as an exercise in drawing a figure in an unusual pose. With its strong outlines, carefully modelled musculature and twisted pose it has a sculptural quality. The twisted pose, the plasticity, and the heavily built muscles of the legs are reminiscent of Michelangelo’s Sybils in the Sistine Chapel, which are believed to have been based on male figures and transformed into female.
The model for this drawing may be Kitty Powell, who posed for the nude figure in Lambert’s painting The sonnet (cat.34) about this time.
Francis Derwent Wood (1871–1926), to whom the drawing was inscribed, was a British sculptor and a good friend of Lambert’s. Lambert painted a small study of Wood’s family in 1905, Wood’s portrait in 1906, a pencil portrait of his wife, Florence Schmidt, in 1910 and an oil portrait of her