Elisabeth Collins initially trained as a sculptor, attending the Royal College of Art from 1928-31. Whilst there she met the painter Cecil Collins, whom she married in 1931. 'Listening Woman' was painted in about 1970, when the couple returned to London and Elisabeth resumed her artistic development. The painting has a strong, very personal visionary aspect. The figure, with head upturned, is depicted in a moment of spiritual revelation and the heavily worked paint presents an outward expression of this interior process. Collins combines pale blues and greys with vivid oranges and yellows in a way that is intended to stimulate new emotions and thoughts in the viewer.