The sitter has been traditionally identified as the artist's wife, Georgiana, but the likeness is not entirely convincing. For example, Lady Burne-Jones wore her hair severely parted, not curling over her forehead (fig.1). The inscription is also ambiguous, the artist is unlikely to have written this of his wife, unless some elaborate joke, typical of Burne-Jones, was intended.
The inscription presents a further problem in that, although it seems to be initialled 'E.B.J.', the handwriting does not appear to be Burne-Jones's. Could someone have recorded a derogatory remark that he made of his sitter?