Born in Vitebsk (now Belarus), Zadkine eventually settled in Paris in 1910 following a period at art school in London. In Paris he studied briefly in the studio of Jean-Antoine Injalbert before setting up on his own. 


His early career was linked heavily with that of the emerging cubist movement and Zadkine met regularly with Brancusi, Picasso, and later Modigliani, with whom he shared a studio after World War I.


From 1925 Zadkine developed compositions of greater complexity, often with several figures and an interplay of convex and concave planes, which is clearly demonstrated in this work.