Torse de femme is an outstanding and unique example of Zadkine's passion for wood carving. The standing form was a central motif throughout the artist's oeuvre and these works have been described as 'veritable poems in stone, wood or alabaster'. As Ionel Jianou states: "These eyeless statues stare at us with their whole bodies. A quiver of sensuality, desire and purity animates the slightly rounded surfaces of these young, tall, slim, lissom, highly polished and occasionally lacquered bodies, over which light fairly streams" (I. Jianou, Zadkine, Paris, 1964, pp. 54-56).
In the present work one can see how well the artist explored the qualities of the ebony. In carving, smoothing and polishing the surface, Zadkine brings out the best of the material properties of the wood. As Jianou further states: 'In his urge to select the medium best suited to his specific mood and artistic concept, he has used in his work such varied items as wood, stone, marble, sandstone, granite, quartz, porphyry, alabaster, crystal, lead, aluminium, bronze, terracotta, and stanniferous potter's clay. His thorough acquaintance with the structure of wood has determined his preference for elm, ebony and acacia... also carved box-wood, oak, pear-tree wood, apple-tree wood, cherry wood, in Brazilian woods and Ugandan woods... This great wealth and variety of media testify to the importance attached to choice of materials and to perfect mastery of the sculptor's craft. "I remain a craftsman," he has often pointed out, "a worker caring for excellence in execution, apart from the idea and originality"' (loc. cit.).