Two women—one standing, the other kneeling—are set against a geometric pattern of quarter-circles and squares on a pale backdrop. The flatness of the square, given dimension only by the faint shadow beneath, is incongruous with the depth of the figures. Nonetheless, the enigmatic square compliments the peach and beige of the models’ skin tones with its dark brown shades and subtle olive green tones. The palette throughout the composition is warm and earthy, tied together by the skin tones of the two nudes, echoed throughout.
The square is divided into four smaller squares which bisect concentric half-circles that seem to radiate from the scene transpiring between the two models in the foreground. On further examination, the surface of the square has a rough texture like that of a carpet, juxtaposing the soft, smooth surface of the models standing before it.
The power dynamic between the two figures is strong. While the disciple grasps the jeans, her gaze into the duchess’ eyes reveals her is under the taller woman’s guidance. The duchess’ face is turned away from the viewer, but her head is cast downward as she returns her companion’s beseeching glance. The standing model would be taller even if her disciple were to stand, reinforcing her gently powerful persona.
The disciple seems full of uncertainty, looking for wisdom in her counselor. The duchess places her hands firmly on the disciple with gentle affection. Rather than being a forceful figure, the viewer is given the impression that the duchess offers guidance to a willing adherent. While the scene of two nudes carries erotic undertones, the emotional connection between the models is apparent.