Toorop came to Holland from Indonesia in 1869, and lived in The Hague. He was much influenced by the work of artists active in l'Essor Association and Les Vingt in Belgium, of which he was a member. When visiting England he met Whistler and William Morris, and he later exhibited in Vienna with the Wiener Secession, having developed a symbolist style of his own.
In 1905 he converted to Roman Catholicism, and towards the end of his life he devoted much of his work to Catholic themes. The figure in the present lot would seem to be Miek Janssen, whom Toorop met in 1912 and who was his model many times in his late work