The sculpture, of which we do not know the original title, probably made around 1927, represents a female nude emerging from the marble. The central part of the woman's bust is well defined, while the lower extremity, part of the head and the arms, whose shoulders we see, are lost in the stone, according to methods that recall Michelangelo's technique of the unfinished, mediated through influences by Auguste Rodin or Leonardo Bistolfi (1859-1933).
The naked woman has a purple spot in the center of the chest generated by the reddish veins in the marble. Her head, slightly turned to the side, gradually "fades" until it gets lost in the roughness of the rock with which the hair blends.
As Flavio Fergonzi recalls in an article, which appeared in «Prospettiva», in which he reflects on the stylistic influences that Auguste Rodin exerts on Italian sculptors, the French artist was also particularly popular in Italy in the first decade of the twentieth century. Rodin becomes a point of reference for the renewal of style after his participation with Ombre at the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Turin and exhibiting at the 1903 Venice Biennale.
An Italian sculptor in whom the influence of Rodin is clearly felt is Leonardo Bistolfi, who «seems to go back via Rodin to a courageous reflection inspired by Michelangelo». It can be said that the French sculptor guided Bistolfi «to look at the body through a renewed anatomical attention which is resolved in extreme and anti-naturalistic chiaroscuro passages and in violent contrasts». (Fergonzi 1999, p. 26)
It is possible to compare the Naked woman of Asco with Michelangelo's Awakening Prigione from 1530 circa, today in the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence (fig. 1), for the unfinished technique mediated by the lesson of the contemporary Rodin.
Fig 1: Michelangelo, Awakening Prigione, 1530, marble, Florence, Galleria dell’Accademia
Evident similarities can also be seen in the comparison with the sculpture that Bistolfi realized to adorn the Hoffmann Tomb in the Turin cemetery: the way of sculpting the figure in a block of stone in which the volumes are lost, the attitude of the woman who rotates her head. Photographic reproduction of Bistolfi's work, entitled The Life, compare in «Emporium» in an article written by Emilio Zanzi in 1933, on the occasion of the sculptor's death (Zanzi 1933, pp 187-189).
Similar sculptures in the style are made also by Trieste’s artist Ruggero Rovan (1877-1963); among these The Drowned of 1915, now exposed in Civic Museum Revoltella in Trieste.