In this work, Hals created an emphatically sensual image. Gypsy – with bare head, loose hair and bold decollete – desperately unlike prudish and dry virtuous matrons, whom we meet in a variety of custom-made portraits of Khals. The girl’s bright dress, the white sleeves of the sweatshirts, the bold and crafty smile playing on her lips-everything tells the viewer how joyful and spicy life can be if not to tie it into a gray cloth dress.
Now we can not even imagine what impression this picture made on contemporaries of Khals. Needless to say, decent people could not look at it without disgust. It is possible that the “Gypsy woman” was ordered by Halsa some informer of a brothel, in order to warm up the sensuality of clients. Tolerance houses, I must say, were available in the Puritan Holland more than enough. The French traveler, who visited Amsterdam in 1681, was surprised to note that, in terms of the number of such establishments, this city is second only to the “all-European Babylon” – Paris.
Even during the life of Khals, in 1640, in Holland, an edict was issued prohibiting women from “wearing a dress that reveals the body.” Violators of this decree waited a severe punishment “until excommunication from the Church and Holy Communion.” On the Gypsy women, however, such decrees did not apply. They were already pagan, without even the slightest hope for the salvation of the soul. Therefore, they could wear an arbitrarily bold decollete.