With her marriage to Rembrandt, Saskia became an essential ingredient of his art, replacing the mother he had left behind in Leiden. She was to appear in all sorts of guises and costumes (the preceding print being a case in point) but in this intimate and direct study he catches her in a far-away pensive moment, not acting or pretending to be anything other than what she is - his young wife. She is smartly clothed, in a dress with split bodice and puffed sleeves, no doubt in the latest style of the capital. She had something of a fixation for pearls, and here wears them in her hair, in her ears and around her neck. Years after her death, when Rembrandt was in financial difficulties, a goldsmith friend produced an inventory of her jewellery collection, which consisted largely of pearls. Before this unhappy occasion, one of Rembrandt's most devoted pupils, Philips Koninck, had bought a pearl necklace which once belonged to Saskia. It may well have been the one adorning her neck in this print.