The scene plays with intimacy and distance. The thick blonde hair of the woman, who is deeply engrossed in reading, encases her like a protective cloak. At the same time, the viewer is warded off by it. The atmospheric depiction is composed of few fields of colour and by the interplay between opaque and translucent applications of paint. The Finnish artist thus emphasises the abstract tendencies of her work, in which she nonetheless always remains committed to figuration. Schjerfbeck, who received her artistic training in Helsinki and Paris, already enjoyed great success during her lifetime. However, this is her first work to enter a public museum collection outside of Scandinavia.