As suggested by C.J. de Bruyn Kops in the catalogue of the Wybrand Hendriks exhibition, Haarlem, 1972, the sitter may be Geertruid Harmsen, who became the artist's wife in the year this portrait was executed. It is possible that the selfportrait of the artist of 1807, of the same measurements (Frans Halsmuseum, Haarlem, Wybrand Hendriks, exhibition catalogue, no.40) is its pendant although it was painted three years later. By 1800, Hendriks was the leading portraits of Haarlem's intelligensia; his style is characterised by an informality which was in contrast to the more staid style of the previous generation. Jan van Walré in his De Kunst van Nabootzing der Gebaarden characterizes Hendriks as a portraitist "die door 't keurig fiks penseel, niet slechts der menschen wezenstrekken maar ook, in menig tafereel, de werking van de ziel wist op 't gelaat te ontdekken".
See colour illustration