A young woman, reclining on a pillow, turns toward a presumed visitor; her wide-eyed gaze, one of delight and anticipation. As she turns, her white gown falls away, revealing her upper torso. A soft light bathes her flushed cheeks and sparkling eyes and also highlights the glossy sheen of her hair cascading down her left shoulder.
Adélaïde Labille-Guiard used the delicacy of the pastel medium to capture the sitter's eroticism. Rather than depicting a specific individual, Labille-Guiard created this imaginary portrait to convey a moment of sensual awakening. This type of fanciful portrait became popular in France in the mid-1700s.