Like other Venetian paintings of women from early sixteenth-century, this work was traditionally believed to be the portrait of a courtesan. Actually this female portrait contain precise allusions to marriage: the woman here represented displays her breast, a symbol of fertility, an offering of love and a seductive appeal. She has loosed her hair, an ancient tradition for Venetian brides, and wears a white blouse, a typical element of the bride’s trousseau and a symbol of chastity.
Jacopo Palma the Elder, Venetian by adoption, was famous for these half-length images of attractively plump women, in which he provided his own interpretation of a model invented by Titian. The painting is datable to about 1520.