From 1900 on, Picasso regularly stays in Paris, where he comes into contact with the art of the avant-garde. The young artist eagerly absorbs everything and tries all kinds of styles and techniques. A few years later, together with Georges Braques, he would become the founder of cubism, but this early work still clearly shows the influence of postimpressionism.
The portrait shows a young woman with orange-red hair, fashionably attired in a white dress with a matching flamboyant yellow hat with white and blue accents, against a blue-green background. Her wistful face is painted rather evenly, but for the rest the portrait is composed of loose impasto brushstrokes and touches. This together with the contrasting colours gives the portrait a dynamic character.
The identity of this ‘Madrilenian’ is unknown. She has, however, posed for Picasso on several occasions, because he makes another painting of this woman in the same year.