Suzor-Coté’s nudes attest to his mastery of the art of pastel. As of 1915, the artist began to focus on the nude, to which he attached as much value as his works in oil. On some occasions Suzor-Coté depicted his models in the real but austere setting of his studio, while at other times transposed them into dreamlike natural settings. Here the play of light harmonizes with the pillow’s and sheets’ shades of white and the various tones used to depict the flesh, providing an intimate scene with an exceptionally evocative power.
In 1924, he showed Despondency, a large-sized version of the 1921 pastel Kneeling Nude in Profile, at the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts’ annual exhibition. These works, as well as a pochade that was also executed in 1921, were inspired by a large (103 x 103.5 cm) oil painting from 1915 entitled Sorrow. This particular subject, therefore, had an effect on the artist!