From 1916 onwards Gris became interested in painting figures, leading him to seek inspiration in the work of the great masters of the past. Various drawings of this period copy works by Raphael, Velázquez and Cézanne, in addition to three oils based on Corot. Seated Woman looks to Corot in the counterbalance of the curved and straight lines and the interplay of chiaroscuro. However, the use of a high viewpoint that flattens the forms and the painting’s overall structure of juxtaposed, oblique lines recall Cézanne’s female portraits. In comparison with Portrait of Josette Gris, 1916, with which this painting forms a pair, Seated Woman is more varied and complex, both from a formal and chromatic viewpoint. This may be partly explained by the party dress that Josette is wearing here, although some experts have also pointed to the possible influence of Picasso’s painting The Italian Woman of 1917.