Frans I Pourbus, a son of Peter Pourbus and the father of Frans II Pourbus, hails from a famous Bruges artistic family. Next to landscapes and portraits Pourbus had a marked preference for religious scenes in a dynamic and Italianising style. As a portrait artist Frans I Pourbus excels due to his exceptionally refined brush strokes and the dignified idealizing of his models. He is considered to be one of his generations finest portrait painters. This portrait from 1581 is the masters last known, signed and dated work. The womans identity is unknown. She is dressed in line with the rich patrician fashions of the day, in black velvet with pearls and white silk, stitched with gold thread. She wears a white winged cap; her face is elegantly framed with a delicate ruff collar.