Inspired by the early Cubist paintings of Picasso, de la Fresnaye made a small group of sculptures in order to master the human figure in all its aspects. During this time de la Fresnaye was friendly with sculptor Raymond Duchamp-Villon. The subject of the present work is derived from de la Fresnaye's painting L'italienne de face, 1910 (G. Seligman, Roger de la Fresnaye, with a catalogue raisonné, London, 1969, no. 67; coll. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.).