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In the 1920s Gertler painted a series of female nudes, set in opulent surroundings. In these paintings his two favourite subjects, the human figure and the still life, were combined. Gertler admired the work of Renoir, especially his voluptuous female nudes, and was always on the look out for a model with Renoir-like features. Gertler's nudes and still lifes were always painted from the model and conveyed a sense of reality. But he liked to mix that reality with the unreality of the setting. Here the title confers upon the nude a mysterious and grand Middle Eastern lineage.

August 2004