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The depiction of the human form in art is constantly changing. We can follow this from the religious perspectives of ancient Egypt and the Middle Ages to the accurate anatomical studies of the Renaissance, through to representations where the painterly is given greater reign. The development of photography hugely influenced painting as an art form. Modelling of face and bodies was executed with coarser strokes and bolder use of colours.

The Impressionists had introduced a new way of looking at the colour spectrum not only in the light but also in the shadows. This was further developed in early Modernism. Particularly in the works of Jean Heiberg and Henrik Sørensen, who had studied under Henri Matisse in Paris, we see a different way of using colour in the modelling of a body. Soft, tonal transitions are substituted with sharper and clearer strokes of paint.