The sitter in this portrait, Margaret Lemon, has long been thought to be van Dyck's mistress. Described by Wenceslaus Hollar as a dangerous woman, given to peaks of tremendous jealousy (see J. Urzidill, Wenceslaus Hollar. A Czech Emigre in England, London, 1942, p. 47), she sat to van Dyck on more than one occasion. This composition relates to the picture in a private collection (see S. Barnes, N. de Poorter, O. Millar, H. Vey, Van Dyck. A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, 2002, p. 551, IV.156), which is most likely cut from a larger canvas. In a version at Longleat, the composition is extended to the left to include her left hand, as in the present lot, in which she holds a sword.