B y 1916, Renoir had achieved significant acclaim and financial independence for his works of art. No longer obliged to paint commissioned society portraits, he cherished the opportunities to paint landscapes, townscapes, roses, or intimate portraits of those who surrounded him. While many of the subjects of his portraits were recorded or later discovered, the protagonist of the present work remains unknown.
Even though Renoir was no longer exclusively painting commissioned portraits, many of the qualities of that time translated into his later work, created of his own volition, such as his inclusion of extravagant hats upon his subjects. Similar hats appear in Renoir’s work as early as the mid-1890s, and continue throughout his career. "His studios, whether in Paris or in the country, are empty of any furniture that might encourage visitors to stay for long. A broken down divan, covered in clothes and old flowered hats for his models; a few chairs that are always cluttered with canvases'' (Albert André, Renoir, 1919, reprinted in Renoir, A Retrospective [exhibition catalogue], New York, 1987, p. 262).