The 52-year-old sitter has not been identified. Her black peaked cap, enlivened only by the small pearl drops attached to the edges, identifies her as a widow.
De Braij worked in Haarlem and Amsterdam, and was the son of the painter, architect and poet Salomon de Braij. Most of his works are portraits, but he also made etchings and was active as an architect.
The panel may have been cut on the left, and the initials preceding the surname of the signature consequently lost. X-ray photographs show that the head was originally further to the left and that the collar was lower.