Signed in pen and ink, at lower right, "Henri Matisse." Inscribed, verso at lower right, "Miss Green," by Alfred Stieglitz (according to Sarah Greenough, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.).
This drawing was exhibited for the first time in "Exhibition of Sculpture-The First in America-and Recent Drawings by Henri Matisse" (14 March-6 April 1912) at Alfred Stieglitz's Gallery 291 in New York. It was purchased by Belle da Costa Greene, JP Morgan's librarian and later the director of the Morgan Library & Museum, for her private collection. The drawing, which shows the back of a woman leaning against a patterned curtain, relates to "Backs and Scene of Tangier," a pen and reed drawing from 1912-13 which Matisse selected as the first image in "Cinquante dessins," published in 1920. "Female Nude" also relates to the relief sculpture "Back II" (1913), on which Matisse was working at the time.