After Sluijters had completed his study at the Rijksacademie of Amsterdam in 1903, he registered to compete for the Prix de Rome in 1904. Winning the Prix de Rome, would provide him a scholarship and raises his status. In the finals, Sluijters competed against other young promising artists like Huib Luns (1881-1942) and Salomon Garf (1879-1943), but the jury generally voted for Sluijters' painting of Eliza wekt de zoon op van de Sunamitische vrouw (Collection Drents Museum, Assen). With the assurance of the allowance from the Prix de Rome, Sluijters decides to marry his fiance and muse Bertha Langerhorst (1882-1955) in 1904. Just before their departure to Italy and France, he portrayed Bertha with only a yellow scarf in her hands. This portrait of Bertha with a yellow scarf varies greatly from his style in which he started his career as a painter and in which style he made his winning piece. The present work of Bertha is quite modern, not only by composition but also in the monochrome colors. In those days, symbolic or mythological paintings of nudes were generally accepted, but this autonomous nude was rather liberal. Perhaps that was the reason that the work was not immediately exhibited. The work of Bertha is probably the first nude of Sluijters in a modern style, which makes the work even more special. The painting would be the first of a large successful oeuvre of modern nudes.
To be included in the catalogue raisonné on the artist's work, currently being prepared by the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD) in The Hague.