There has been much debate over who the portrait subject was but most agree that it is likely to be Maria Trip, the daughter of an Amsterdam merchant. She was also the wife of Balthasar Coymans. Indeed, Rembrandt's main reason for moving to the Dutch capital was because of the amount of wealth floating around this key European trade hub, which opened up new opportunities for his career.
The Dutch artist was constantly expanding his own collection of famous art and required an endless stream of commissioned work in order to finance this expensive passion. Ultimately he would later end up in voluntary bankruptcy but portraits such as the one found here would keep him ticking along for many years.
Rembrandt depicts the young lady in a form that outlines her wealthy background and confirms her to be comfortable within that. He outfit is given a trim of white linen which appears typically thin, allowing colours from the cloth below to show through. She also sports a small handle that we believe to be of a fan, whilst a subtle array of small pearls completes her look of grandeur.
Rembrandt concentrates the lighting as if this was a shoulder length portrait, with all other areas of the canvas darkened down to reduce focus on them. There are also elements of furniture in the bottom right, adding to the feeling of this being a figure from a respected background. Additional pearls can also be found around her wrists and a broche sits upn her chest.