By the late 1930s Marie Laurencin was already a well-established and successful female artist and was greatly admired for her absolute feminine aesthetic. In 1937 she was represented at the Exposition Universelle as at the forefront of her artistic generation with the inclusion of sixteen of her works in the Maîtres de l'art indépendent exhibition. She was also appointed Chevalier de La Légion d'honneur by an appreciative French state that had acquired her La répétition in the previous year (1936, Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris). Laurencin also achieved public recognition for her portraits of major figures of 1930s Parisian social life, such as Coco Chanel, Mme Paul Guillaume-Walter and Nancy Cunard, which all display the ease with which Laurencin portrayed the female figure.
By contrast to her public commissions, Laurencin's universal images of beauty, such as the present work, serve to capture the essence of the female figure rather than portray any direct representation of the sitter. The very feminine accessories that recur in Laurencin's portraits, pearls and flowers being two important elments that only begin to appear after the 1930s, reinforce this fundamental femininity. 'It's curious,' commented Laurencin to her loyal companion Armand Loewengard, 'when I begin a picture my women are girls to start with, but then they all become princesses' (quoted in R. Gimpel, Memoirs of an Art Dealer, New York, 1966, p. 403). Laurencin's late portraits of young ladies can be viewed as a quest to capture an essence of youth, allowing the artist to recreate herself again and again.