Painted in the late 1890s.
Representing the third generation of Spain's most enduring dynasty of artists begun by his grandfather José and his father Federico, Raimundo de Madrazo was the most distinguished figure of the 'Spanish School' in Paris. Settling there in 1862, Madrazo specialised in female portraiture, with the sitter often placed in a refined and exquisite setting. In the present work, Aline Mason, his favourite model and daughter of the Marquis de Casa Riera's concierge in Paris, is captured as a seamstress, her dress and pose evocative of an eighteenth-century costume piece by Chardin or Liotard.
The influence of Madrazo's close friend and brother-in-law, Mariano Fortuny, is also clearly evident in this work in the wealth of detail and mastery of colour and texture, from Aline's porcelain skin to the rendering of white and the vibrancy of the background. 'Madrazo's portraiture is of that accomplished order that raises it to eminence; grace and fine drawing, colour and strength, are seen united to enable depiction of character, and his works present an air of completion in which refinement and vivacity are noticeable attributes' (Alfred George Temple, Modern Spanish Paintings, London, 1906, p. 60).