The present painting was included in Wood's first exhibition in London, held at the Beaux Arts Gallery in 1927, shown alongside works by Ben and Winifred Nicholson. In the introduction to the catalogue Jean Cocteau emphasized the directness of Wood's work: 'If Christopher Wood wished to paint sleep he would not paint his dreams, but a man asleep, and this is an important difference, a return to the humanity to which the best of our youth is turning consciously or unconsciously. Wood is an English painter ... Before the canvases you don't think, you live. No subtle problem poses itself here. A bunch of flowers is a bunch of flowers, smell it. A street is a street, walk down it. A woman is a woman, love her' (see R. Ingleby, Christopher Wood An English Painter, London, 1995, p. 156).
The model for the nude was Meraud Guinness whom Wood had met in 1925. She was the daughter of Benjamin Guinness, (chairman of the British Foreign Trust Ltd.), and was briefly engaged to Wood. In a prophetic letter of 21 September Wood foresaw the problems that were to come between them: 'Meraud is very sweet and I am very much in love with her. It has all made a bit of a scandal here but that can't be helped, and life is not worth living without love or scandal. I think she would like to marry me but, as she will be enormously rich one day and, as her father and mother would like her to marry a duke, I expect the very idea of such a union would be distasteful to say the least of it' (see R. Ingleby, op. cit., p. 164).