Reclining Woman

© by permission of the copyright holder. Image credit: British Council Collection

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This painting belongs to the period when Smith returned to live in Paris from 1922 and is one of a succession of nudes that constituted one of the major achievements of his painting career. These works demonstrated an immediate, sensuous response to the model, a fusion of painterly skill and instinct in which the forms are given an almost sculptural amplitude. Colour is usually high-key with brilliant accents in details of features or jewellery, although this particular canvas shows a richer, more sombre palette than most at this time. Smith was not afraid to impose a heightened colour range at the expense of literal transcription and it is this quality which gives his work its strength, coupled with the spontaneity of the loose, rapid brush work, drawing with an assurance almost unique in England at the time.

British Council Collection



Reclining Woman




oil on canvas


H 54 x W 65.4 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased from the Mayor Gallery, 1948

Work type


Inscription description

tlc: MS


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British Council Collection

British Council, 1 Redman Place, London, Greater London E20 1JQ England

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