Women executed a number of the female nudes considered the most provocative of their time, including Girl Under a Tree (1931), by Prudence Heward, and Nude in the Studio (1933), by Lilias Torrance Newton. Deemed offensive, the Newton work was withdrawn from its first exhibition, as it was seen not as the depiction of a nude model in a studio but instead of an undressed woman in an apartment! That painting broke with the academic approach to the nude and asserted a powerful modernity not only in the leanness of the body, but also in the presence of pubic hair (invariably absent from conventional nudes), the model’s very obvious makeup (including red nail polish on both fingers and toes) and the green, high-heeled sandals. It had a political connotation that disturbed, first and foremost, the male elite.
This little nude with thigh-high black stockings also violated conventions. Smith gave this Intimist-style work to her friend Fritz Brandtner, who created its linoleum frame. The painting was not intended to be exhibited publically.