The identity of the sitter in this picture remains a mystery. The fact that she is holding a pencil and pad suggests that she may be an art student. This is one of a series of pictures by Knight showing single female sitters absorbed in an activity, such as reading, writing, or even putting on a shoe. The meticulous technique, and the way the sitter's eyes are averted, creates the impression that the woman is the passive recipient of the artist's concentrated gaze. Unlike in other portraits of male artists, the sitter is not shown actively assuming an 'artistic' pose.