Helena Rubinstein was a Polish born Jewish business person and founder of the Helena Rubinstein cosmetics empire. Dobell said of his sitter 'She was a very sad woman for all her millions. She still liked to show off her things as though she'd just been given them. For instance, every now and then she'd disappear and come out with another dress: "Would you like to paint me in this?" all over her arm. And honestly, over the arms of such an old woman it looked like a scene in a gypsy fair.'