Born in Cambridge, Jenny Saville studied at the Glasgow School of Art, graduating in 1992 with a final show in which every painting was sold. While still at art school, she took part in the British Portrait Competition at the National Portrait Gallery in London in 1990 and in the Van Gogh Self Portrait Competition at the Burrell Collection in Glasgow. Shortly after her graduation, the artist’s work came to the attention of the collector Charles Saatchi, who purchased several of her paintings. Between 1992 and 1993, Saatchi commissioned Saville to produce a number of paintings which were later included in the exhibition Young British Artists III at the Saatchi Gallery in London in 1994, where the work of the twenty-three year old artist received a significant amount of critical attention. Working on a very large scale, Saville created paintings characterized both by an abiding interest in the naked female body and the sheer physicality of oil paint. A desire to learn more about anatomy led to an opportunity, during a stay in America in 1994, to make a careful study of cosmetic surgical procedures. In 1995 and 1996 she collaborated with the photographer Glen Luchford on a series of paintings of a female model pressed against a sheet of glass; these works were exhibited at the Pace McGill Gallery in New York in 1996. Saville’s paintings were included in the controversial exhibition Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection at the Royal Academy in London in 1997, alongside the work of Damien Hirst, Chris Ofili, Tracey Emin and others, which brought her work to the notice of the public at large. Saville’s paintings were also included in the exhibition The Nude in Contemporary Art at the Aldrich Museum of Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut in 1999. In 1998 a solo exhibition, entitled Territories, was mounted at the Gagosian Gallery in New York, followed in 2003 by another exhibition entitled Migrants. Saville was appointed a lecturer of figure painting at the Slade School of Fine Art in London, where she taught between 2000 and 2006. A solo museum exhibition of her work was mounted at the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Rome in 2005, and the following year she completed a commission from the Italian collector Carlo Bilotti for three paintings to decorate the chapel of the Museo Carlo Bilotti in Rome. These were installed in 2006 alongside other site-specific works commissioned for the chapel from Damien Hirst and David Salle. In 2007 she was elected to the Royal Academy, and in 2011 and 2012 a retrospective exhibition of her paintings and drawings, which included the present sheet, was held at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida, and at the Ashmolean Museum and the Modern Art Museum in Oxford. Another major solo exhibition took place at the George Economou Collection in Athens in 2018-2019, while another was held in the Museo Novecento and several other locations in Florence in 2021-2022. Most recently, Saville’s work was included in the exhibition Women Painting Women, at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in 2022. After working for several years between studios in London and Palermo in Sicily, Saville today lives and works in Oxford.