Dali's younger sister Ana Maria was a willing and favorite sitter in the 1920s, especially in the months leading up to his first solo exhibition, at the Galeries Dalmau in Barcelona. It is thus not surprising that his paintings of her reflect his experiments with various figurative styles. Dali paid special homage to Ingres in the catalogue for the exhibition and the drawing of his father and sister is a superb essay in academic draftsmanship. At the same time, in the contrast between the delicately modeled faces and the simple linearity of the bodies he is looking towards Picasso's post-cubist return to the figure.
In several of his paintings he explores a simplified representational technique, with smooth slightly geometrical rounded forms and flattened planes, as in Girl resting on her elbow - Ana Maria Dali, the artist's sister (Thought). Indeed in most of his figure paintings at this time, despite the obvious contrast with the Cubist and Purist works, there is an interest in surface pattern and abstract rhythm which derives from his avant-garde experiments. He is also exploring a wide range of earlier and contemporary figurative painting, including the Italian novecento artists.