By the late 1930s Marie Laurencin was already a well-established and successful female artist. The French state had bought from her La répétition (1936, Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris) and commissioned several works for the Exhibition Universelle, as well as awarding her La Légion d'honneur. The avant-garde admired her greatly for her absolute aesthetic.
Laurencin also achieved public recognition for her theatre sets and for her portraits of Parisians figures such as Coco Chanel, Mme Paul Guillaume-Walter and Nancy Cunard. All her portraits were executed rather rapidly, three or four sittings being generally enough, and all display the ease with which Laurencin portrayed the female figure.
The very feminine accessories that recur in Laurencin's portraits, pearls and flowers being two important elements that serve to capture the essence of the female figure rather than portray any direct representation of the sitter. "Mes femmes sont d'abord des filles et elles deviennent toutes des princesses" (Marie Laurencin, quoted in R. Gimpel, Journal d'un collectionneur).