The picture belongs to the early, analytical period of Picasso's Cubism. The sparse colour emphasises the mystical, secretive nature of the image. The lady holding an umbrella and fan in her hands is a fatal muse of the day. This was one of Picasso's first Cubist works to be acquired by Sergei Shchukin in Paris. In his gallery it made a great impression on Russian critics and philosophers, who linked the Woman with a Fan with the image of the Beautiful Lady, the enigmatic Stranger from the world of Russian and French poetry of the early twentieth century.