Although influenced by the Abstract Expressionists, as this painting's size and gestural style reveal, Larry Rivers remained committed to portraying recognizable figures. Here he depicts a nude African-American woman and also friends and family (from left to right: the poet Frank O'Hara; Rivers's sons, Joseph and Steven; and his mother-in-law, Berdie). Rivers himself appears in the pinned-up drawing at the upper right.This work refers to a masterpiece of a century earlier, The Painter's Studio, by the French realist painter Gustave Courbet. Like Courbet, Rivers examined his own artistic role and motivations by portraying his studio. The African-American woman holding a banner with the half-erased legend "Liberty" is an allusion to contemporary social and political problems.