In 1969, the "Inflated Images" Exhibition at the MOMA established Fernando Botero as one of the young masters of 20th Century sculpture. This is evident in the present work, in which the artist renders in his own artistic language the fullness and abundance of the female form. Typically, the main issue in Botero's work is not technique but morphology, his deliberate exaggeration of forms and the significance attached to this. The mid-1960's marked a period in Botero's life where he began to work with three-dimensional figures using the idea of sculpting. In 1977, the artist expressed it thus: "All my life I have felt that I had something to say in sculpture". He began working in bronze in the 1970's, and by the 1980's he was a master sculptor.
Sculptures of the nude, especially the female nude, can be traced back throughout art history. One of the greatest challenges for an artist is to create in art what they see in the human figure. Reclining Woman shows Botero's ability to create an abundant, rounded figure hightly refined and graceful.