This tender portrait of the artist's favourite sister was etched circa 1862-5, shortly before she moved with her architect husband (Mr. Fèvre) to Buenos Aires to live. The portrait is close in spirit and style to works by Rembrandt (very much in vogue in late 19th Century France), particularly to the etching Three Heads of a Woman and the silver point drawing of Saskia (Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin) and also to the etched portrait of Mme Frédéric Villot by Delacroix, a print in Degas's own collection.
Degas took this subject through six often quite experimental states, pulling sometimes a unique trial proof of a state, and having a heliogravure etched of the now unlocated second state. In the refinement of the features the heliogravure comes closest to the final state. Reed and Shapiro record only the following number of impressions of the states: I one impression, II no impressions, IIa two impressions - H. Bérès (also with the estate stamp) and Fondation Doucet, III one impression, IV one impression, V one impression, VI two impressions.