The pose of Felipe Castanedas Reclining Nude clearly evokes classic forms, echoing the languorous lounging figures of famous nudes like Antonio Canovas Pauline Borghese as Venus, but its simplified form and fidelity to its medium (alabaster) are uniquely modernist in style. The clean lines are especially influenced by Castanedas familiarity with pre-Columbian artifacts whose austere beauty influenced his own use of form. Felipe Castaneda was born in La Palma in the state of Michoacan, Mexico, an area rich in those artifacts. Drawn to art from an early age, as a young man he moved to Mexico City to engage with its contemporary art scene, enrolling in 1958 at the La Esmeralda Painting and Sculpture Academy of the National Institute of Fine Arts. In 1962, he became the assistant to renowned sculptor Francisco Zuniga. In 1970, Castaneda produced his first one-man show, displaying several examples of his preferred subject matter the female form. Influenced by both Greco-Roman and pre-Columbian forms, his statues use a hint of abstraction and stylization to suggest both the mystery and sensuality of the eternal woman.