This Berlin painter was a member of several artistic academies (Stuttgart, Paris, Vienna). She maintained a studio on the prestigious Unter den Linden boulevard in Berlin from 1773. This self-portrait is a mature work, and shows Therbusch as a Vestal Virgin beside a tripod topped with fire. The austere life of a priestess of the Roman goddess of the domestic hearth seems to be a metaphor of her own arduous existence as a woman painter. Her expression, as she looks up from her book, is reminiscent of that of a Sybil. The subject gazes forcefully at the viewer through her imposing eyeglass. The red paint she used as an undercoat for her portraits can still be made out.