Scott worked from the figure at various times in his life and painted a number of nudes between 1954 and 1957. The earlier of these, with their large flattened bodies and tapering spiky limbs, have a primitive and fierce quality and have been compared with ancient or tribal art. This painting is from a slightly later group of works which clearly demonstrate Scott's great admiration for the paintings of Bonnard. A copy of Bonnard's 'The Bath' from the Tate's collection hung in Scott's home. The contours of 'Reclining Nude' also refer to landscape. The combination of figure and landscape had been an earlier preoccupation and subject of Scott's.