During a trip to Greece, Aristide Maillol is impressed by classical sculpture. The influence of this can be seen in many of his sculptures. He is the preeminent sculptor of the female nude and the beauty of the female body.
The sky is the second version of a stone sculpture that Maillol made in 1939 as a memorial for fallen airmen. The backward-leaning woman, resting on her right hip, appears to balance between stillness and movement, as if she could be carried along by the wind at any moment. After his death, this nude was cast not only in bronze, but also in a lead alloy, which gives the sculpture an exceptionally light, soft surface. It exists in an edition of six copies.
Through the balanced poses and the smooth, rounded forms, Maillol’s nudes express a great outer and inner tranquillity. With their classical, timeless beauty, his sculptures are the complete opposite of the work of his friend and contemporary Auguste Rodin, who actually seeks to depict emotions and individuality with his dynamic figures.