From the early 1830s to approximately 1850 Amerling was Vienna’s most celebrated portraitist. A likeness, almost identical to this portrait and entitled Modest Susanna, was executed in 1837. The portrait represents an example of one of Amerling’s favourite compositional schemata to position the bare-backed sitter, turned away from the beholder.
In this unfinished self-portrait the artist depicted himself in profile from the left and with a serious and attentive look. He dispensed with any attributes of his art, such as brush or easel, and did not adopt an artificial pose, contenting himself with a clearly circumscribed partial view.
Friedrich Amerling painted several intimate portraits of the children of the Liechtenstein family.