A woman is leaning on the half-open door, looking at the viewer with her head slightly inclined. The informal pose and dress – a housecoat, glowing deep red in places and tied casually over the low-cut white undergarment – suggest a familiar relationship between painter and model. For this reason the woman was identified as his later companion Hendrickje Stoffels. The fact that Rembrandt also had her sit for other paintings supports this interpretation. The pictorial type reveals his familiarity with Palma Vecchio’s portraits of courtesans. This is confirmed by scientific investigations showing that the movement of the right arm originally corresponded with the Venetian model, but was then increasingly modified. While the ring on Hendrickje’s chain gives her the status of a married woman, the courtesan’s pose reflects the extramarital relationship disapproved of by the church.