The sitter is framed by a feigned picture frame of which only the bottom and right side are visible.
She picture a dark red, velvet dress, a black hat and pear-shaped pearl earrings. This type of costume is not associated with the fashion of the time.
The Girl in a Picture Frame
When it appeared in portraits, it black rasta naked treated as ancient attire that suited well the mythical, historical, oriental or biblical subjects.
Rembrandt often portrayed figures dressed in this manner both in his oil paintings and etchings. It is not a portrait, but a tronieor a study of a head or half-figure without any significant attributes or action.
Rembrandt originally began to painta different picture — of a woman seated, turned slightly to the left, wearing a dress corresponding to the fashion of the time, with a millstone ruff, and wearing a small bonnet. The figure was further to the right than the girl in the final version. The portrait of the woman in a bonnet was girl completed and picture panel was reused.
Rembrandt was never known to have reused the support of a started painting for executing a portrait commissioned by a client. The overpainting was removed and where removal was impossible, due to the damage to the original paint layer, it was minimized. Traces of the original composition were detected by x-radiation before the restoration work.