Købke was only nineteen when he painted this vivid portrait of his mother. The attention to detail, especially the subtle colouring of her skin and the fine character of her lace cap, demonstrate his remarkable skills in translating his observations into paint. The plain background focuses attention on the head and also complements the careful composition. Cecilia Margaret Petersen married her cousin Peter Brandt Købke, whom she had known since her own childhood. They had eleven children and Christen was the fifth.