This life study belongs to a group of pen and brush portrait studies of the artist's daughters Anna (b. 1622) and Sarah (b. 1624), which Terborch executed in the early 1630s. Some are included in the Family Scrapbook, today in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (A. Kettering, Drawings from the Ter Borch studio Estate in the Rijksmuseum, The Hague, 1988, I, nos. 107-108; II, p. 750, folio 139, and appendix, p. 814, nos. 1-3).
The artist used more or less the same technique for the whole group: he has brushed the paper with light brown wash on the background and has played with the reserve of the paper to develop a subtly nuanced light, especially around the fruits in the foreground and on the face of the girl. It seems as if her father has tenderly captured her when, just seconds before biting into the melon, she is interrupted by something happening outside our visual field, and turns her pensive head to that direction.
We are grateful to Peter Schatborn for his help cataloguing this drawing.