Jan Goedhart was born in Sumatra in the former Dutch East Indies. His father was a retired naval officer, his mother the daughter of another. She died soon after Jan was born and when he was 6 he was sent to relatives in the Netherlands, where he was educated. He aspired to be a marine painter but was advised to give it up by his early master C L Dake in Amsterdam, to take up instead the more lucrative business of portrait painting — but he did not heed this advice. His second wife was German and he lived in Düsseldorf from 1932 until 1942, when he moved with his family to southwest Germany; it was probably then, before his return to Holland after the war, that he painted this picture. We are told by the artist’s biographer, Aad Knops, that this painting is of Martha Oberndörfer, of Tübingen. Martha owned a fabric shop there and became a patron of Goedhart and a friend of his family. One granddaughter of the artist remembered visiting the shop and being surprised to see so many of her grandfather’s paintings in the shop and in the house.