A year before his death at age twenty-eight, the African-American artist Bob Thompson painted this tribute to the jazz musician Nina Simone. The brightly colored silhouettes bounded by sinuous contours recall the work of the early 20th-century French painter Henri Matisse. Like Matisse, Thompson created idyllic landscapes containing relaxed nude figures. Here, the simplified interrelated forms suggest the rhythms and energy of Simone's music.
While living in Europe Thompson frequented museums, and he often based his compositions and themes on those of the old masters. Homage is a variation on Nicolas Poussin's Bacchanal with Lute-Player of about 1630, which Thompson had studied at the Louvre, in Paris.