Eardley frequently painted clothed figures, but this starkly painted nude is unique in her work. The figure is painted in confident, block-like brushstrokes in the manner of Nicolas de Staël. The model was Eardley’s friend Angus Neil, who posed for her on a number of occasions in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The painting aroused controversy when it was exhibited in Edinburgh in 1955 since it was considered daring for a woman to paint a naked man. After receiving such unfavourable press, Eardley did not complete any similar subjects.