The painting portrays Giovanna degli Albizzi, a Florentine noblewoman who was married to Lorenzo Tornabuoni. She died in childbirth in 1488, year on the cartolina (Italian for a slip of paper in the background). The painting was actually painted after her death, around 1489-90. She has been identified thanks to her other portraits in the Tornabuoni Chapel, where she has the same hair style.
It depicts the young woman from the side, wearing precious clothes including a gamurra vest. On the right, behind her, are a hanging coral necklace (perhaps a rosary), a partly closed prayers book and a Latin inscription, taken from an epigram by the 1st century AD poet Martial.