Sleeping Peasants, 1919, is the most potent of the small erotic paintings that is brilliantly coloured. The restless, irregular rhythms mapped out by the contours of the tumescene limbs and ruckled drapery amount to a graph of love-making which has just occured, while the woman's thrown-back head and uncovered breast confirm her maenadic ancestry. The ripe bodies nestled in the ripe crops implying some archaic fertility rite.
The painting is carefully planned and controlled, and in that sense an Apolline work of art, and makes its share of erudite allusions to the classical tradition: to the Antique (the pedimental sculptures of the Parthenon), the Renaissance (the massive, straining figures of Michelangelo) and modernist classicism (the late Arcadian scenes of Cezanne).
Here the ostensible mood is reflective and 'serene'.