Adolph von Menzel always had a carpenter's pencil and sketchbooks with him and invariably made a drawing whenever anything caught his attention. His preferred subjects were from the everyday world. This could be a scene observed by chance, like the woman shown here stretching her arm upwards. The artist seems not so much interested in her actual activity as he is in her pose. Menzel uses the empty spaces to 'complete' the back of her head and the raised hand, both of which have been cut off by the edge of the sheet - a characteristic feature of his graphic art.