Opening his long series of colour reproductions of 'Modern Masterpieces' in the mid-nineteen thirties, the publisher George Newnes illustrated A Study by George Spencer Watson. It was, according to the caption writer, 'the female form divine', a painting of a seated nude shown at the Royal Academy in 1933 and regarded as a summing up of 'the knowledge of a lifetime'. Despite the timelessness of the subject, in the year before his death, Watson's languorous model exuded modernity. This most precocious of painters, renowned for his portraits had, like De Glehn, Connard, Russell Flint, Harold Speed and Charles Sims retained the belief that painting could address a mythic arcadia in which the naked Amazon was a central figure. Watson was a student of Ingres and studies such as the present Standing Nude reveal his profound understanding of the human body, its soft undulations and taut contours. As with the Valpinon Bather, this model is surrounded by exotic brocades, velvet drapes and striped garments that carry the whiff of Shalimar.