Dina Vierny has confirmed the authenticity of this drawing.
Aristide Maillol drew his inspiration from classical ideals of the human form. During his lifelong dedication to the motif of the human body, he created works of timeless monumentality. Maillol greatly admired Rodin, but felt the drama and agitated poses of the senior master distracted from the purity of form and sentiment he sought: "There is something to be learned from Rodin...yet I felt I must return to more stable and self-contained forms. Stripped of all psychological details, forms yield themselves up more readily to the sculptor's intentions" (quoted in C. Giedion-Welcker, Contemporary Sculpture, New York, 1955, p. 24).
Indeed, the monumental Nu de dos -- which shows Dina Vierny, Maillol's assistant and muse for the last ten years of his life -- possesses the same classical proportions, rounded forms and calm demeanor as the artist's sculpture. In 1938, Rewald visited Maillol in his studio, and discovered that the walls were covered with drawings and photographs of nudes: "He wouldn't part with any of these because he used them constantly for his work and that he actually regretted many of those that he had sold long ago. Indeed for him drawings -- and especially drawings from life -- were an essential element for his work as a sculptor. According to Maillol it was possible to make a statue after a good drawing" (quoted in Aristide Maillol: 1861-1944, exh. cat., The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1975, p. 21).