Lali Horstmann (1898–1954) was a German heiress and prominent collector. The descendant of a distinguished banking family, the von Schwabachs, she was married to Freddy (1879–1947), a diplomat and owner of the General Anzeiger, a Frankfurt newspaper. Their grand house in the centre of Berlin was decorated with tapestries, exquisite china, and their art collection, which spanned from the Old Masters to contemporary artists, from Tiepolo to Munch. Because of Freddy’s profession, the couple lived in the United States, Portugal and Belgium, and were stationed in Christiania, modern-day Oslo, at the time this portrait was executed. Following Hitler’s rise to power, Freddy resigned from the country’s Diplomatic Service. The couple then moved to their country estate in Kerzendorf, a village outside Berlin. After the end of the war, Lali left the country in 1949, and spent the rest of her life between London and New York.