Popular for his historical paintings, Pillai is remembered as an artist of the common masses. This portrait of an Iyengar lady, most probably with information gathered from his time in Madras, shows a woman of noble lineage, given her attire and jewellery. Draping his subject in the nine-yard sari favoured by the Iyengars, Pillai takes the detailing to the highest level. Be it the jewellery, the intricate work on the sari and the blouse, it reveals the high skill of the artist. The face of the subject is simple, yet alluring.