The Utrecht painter Van Honthorst lived for a while in Rome, where he was influenced by the work of Caravaggio. He caused a sensation with his night paintings, which gave him the nickname ‘Gherardo delle Notti’, Gerrit of the Nights. But he also made cheerful figure paintings, such as this enticing young woman. Van Honthorst was one of the Utrecht Caravaggists, and his modern, dramatic style had a great influence on Dutch painting. When he became court painter to stadholder Frederik Hendrik, his style became gradually daintier.