Born in Cefalu, Sicily in 1882, Virgilio Constantini began his studies in Venice where he was exposed to the works of Paul Besnard, J.S. Sargent and Lucien Simon. Under the influence of these artists, he would later inherit their fluid brushwork and dynamic palette.
Constantini moved to Paris in 1906 and it was here that the present work was created, indeed during one of the most successful periods of Constantini's career. After the success of Le Cerisier, which drew international praise, he was made an Associate member of the Societé Nationale des Beaux Arts. The artist had become interested in the freshness and transparent effects of watercolors and this sensitivity to tone and shading is translated to his oils, the layers of paint, some muted and pale, others more vibrant applied to acheive a certain tonal effect. The subtle blend of rose, grey coral and flesh tones in Nu are reminiscent of the carefully calculated color harmonies employed years earlier by Albert Moore and James Abbott McNeill Whistler whose work Constantini might have encountered.