A fashionably dressed young lady of Frankfurt's best society is posing as a model for the director of the Städel. Marie du Fay, who had married the senator, businessman and art collector Franz von Bernus at the age of seventeen, is shown here as a sensitive, sylphlike beauty. Veit expertly elaborated on the details of the different textures of her clothing. Both the intricate plaited hairstyle and the late-Gothic ornamentation of the wall design are indications of the fascination of the Romantics with the Middle Ages. The Bernus family maintained an important salon in Frankfurt, in which many intellectuals, musicians and painters met.