In contrast to Valadon's depiction of the female form, artists such as Titian, Ingres, and Manet depicted female nudes with idealized womanly features. For example, the Grand Odalique, Olympia, and Venus of Urbino underscore a gendered role of women with full female exposures atop beds—as something separate from the model—creating an imbalanced power dynamic between the artists and subject. The Blue Room is a response to these paintings as well as others, such as Matisse's Blue Nude and Félix Vallotton's The White and the Black. Substituting a cigarette for Ingres's hookah and taking Matisse's bold outlines, among other traits from the aforementioned works, Valadon creates a "startlingly contemporary" lounger, capturing a depiction of everyday life which is entirely her own. Valadon's subversion and appropriation of her predecessor's techniques ultimately instigate a new trajectory for future depictions of the female form.
Fun fact - it was painted two years before The Great Gatsby was published, to give some context.