The present watercolour comes from the series of drawings of Dorelia in a long dress, standing full and sometimes three-quarter-length, executed between 1908 and 1909 probably in Paris. Dorelia moves around in these drawings, for example the drawing in the Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro, portrays Dorelia with her left arm raised, holding the back of her head (fig. 1). The present drawing is a similar pose, however, this time her right arm is draped over her head. It was this pose that John used in the large oil painting The Way down to the sea, first exhibited in 1909, in which Dorelia is reunited with the posthumous figure of Ida (fig. 2.).
An further series of drawings Dorelia wears a headscarf and lifts the heavy skirts of her dress to show her ankle, see lot 66.