This study is one of a group of life drawings that Giacometti produced while attending the Acadmie de la Grande Chaumire in Montparnasse, the best known art school in Paris during the 1920s, under the tutelage of Emile-Antoine Bourdelle, the doyen of French sculptors.
Giacometti spent five years at the Acadmie. He could come and go as he pleased and often preferred to work alone. Although his fellow students noted his talents, Giacometti usually covered up his work when Bourdelle visited once a week, and it was not until 1925 that the elder sculptor chose one of Giacometti's sculptures for inclusion in the Salon des Tuileries, Giacometti's first public exposure in Paris.
Giacometti took advantage of the availability of models at the Acadmie to advance his life drawing skills. His style at this time was sculptural and volumetric, and he usually analyzed the figure by breaking it down into component planar surfaces. Although he later claimed to have learned very little at the Acadmie, he developed a love of drawing the figure, and drawing was to remain a constant activity throughout his career, often providing a direct catalyst for his work in sculpture and painting.