Bonnard’s interest in nudes emerges towards the end of the 1890s, which coincides with the stylistic disintegration within the Nabis. Both in technique and subject matter this painting aptly summarises Bonnard’s approach to his newly adopted genre. The loose, rapidly executed technique seems to caress the form of the nude figure, while the prominence given to the red garters transforms the painting into a softly spoken erotic statement.
Bonnard’s work after 1900 incorporates two stylistic developments shared with his Nabi friends. Faced with the difficulty of giving pictorial form to the Idea as the subject matter of painting in the 1890s , Denis and Roussel had returned to classicism and Vuillard to naturalism. Bonnard found his solution to the problem in a blend of these two. Thus , as Thadee Natanson pointed out in June 1912, Bonnard succeeded in combining in a single picture aspects of Greek sculpture and the of Raphael , which he had come to admire , perfectly fusing these with an everyday event such as ‘the girl who has just undressed in his studio; he does not even give her time to finish taking off her stockings, he does not even allow her to take up a pose…[he paints her as she is] surrounded by the ripple of discarded dress and underwear…’ (T. Natanson, Peints a leur tour, 1948, p. 336)