The model was Sophia Alekseevna Repin, the sister of the artist’s wife. According to the memoirs of L. A. Shevtsova-Spore, the nieces of V. A. Repina, I. Ye. Repin, first portrayed Sofia Alekseevna in a white dress, then rewrote the portrait, changing the clothes to monastic.
Technical and technological research confirms these changes. Sofya Alekseevna was depicted in an open dress with a fan in her hands.