Charlotte Rampling gives an amusing account of the story behind this famous photo:
The story of this image is as funny as it is singular. I was shooting Caravan to Vaccarès [Il giorno del toro] in the Camargue in the South of France. At Warner, who distributed it, they wanted me to pose nude for Playboy ahead of the film’s launch. I refused. To convince me, they suggested using a talented photographer and the choice fell on Newton. I accepted, we met, and in the small house where I was staying we had fun taking a series of both chaste and suggestive photos. At the end of the shoot, Helmut asked me if I wanted to take another photo, naked, just for him. We found ourselves in one of the most famous rooms of the Hotel Nord-Pinus in Arles, the one where the matadors stay during the bullfight, and where they scrupulously observe dressing rituals when putting on the matador’s traje de luces, the “suit of lights”: I, on the other hand, was naked, without so much as a shadow of a dress.