The periodical "Les Modes vraies" of January 1857 describes a Finnish costume for a Mardi Gras ball: "Red velvet bodice with a square neckline decorated with gold braid; dress in yellow velvet, torsade of gold and red velvet, tulle veil, two red velvet panels over the skirt." The anonymous painter has created a costume from his own imagination over a simple white dress with two deep flounces, adding a few touches of red here and there to make it more exotic. The same dress can be seen in the preparatory photograph for the portrait "Virginie."
The negative of "The Finnish Woman" is lost; there is a modern print in the Mayer & Pierson archive. [PA; "La Divine Comtesse", p. 177]
This print has the same type of decorative border as two sets of four painted prints mounted together (2005.100.408a–d and 409a–d); these sets also have the Maurice Levert provenance and were part of lot 91 in the Pescheteau-Badin sale (1995). [Alteveer/IFA]