Throughout his multifaceted career, Romare Bearden was known for his dedication to art and scholarship as well as social and political activism. As an artist, Bearden often explored mythological, religious and cultural themes of significance to African Americans. He is perhaps best known for his dynamic and creative use of collage and photomontage.
In Reclining Nude, Bearden presents simultaneous interior and exterior views of a quiet, contemplative scene. The central focus is the female figure reclining dramatically yet peacefully on a bed. The artist includes small details throughout the frame that draw visual connections back to the figure—an article of floral clothing draped on a chair and a guitar in the rear, right-hand corner. Through the window viewers see a small landscape scene off in the distance.