Countess Cecilia Auersperg, née Billichgrätz, was the daughter of an old noble family. In 1805, aged nineteen, she married Count Alexander Auersperg. Their son was Count Anton Alexander Auersperg, a prominent politician who was also a poet and translator (under the nom de plume Anastasius Grün). In 1819, having completed her mourning for her late first husband, Cecilia remarried. Her second husband was Baron Leopold Liechtenberg Janežič. She died in Ljubljana in 1836.
The portrait has traditionally been dated to the early 1820s, a period in which Tominc visited Ljubljana several times. The sitter’s white dress is consistent with contemporary female fashions, with white coming into favour as a colour for wedding dresses and precious evening gowns after 1820. As well as the artist’s virtuosic treatment of the details of the dress itself, we can admire the rich jewellery, feather-trimmed turban and cashmere shawl. Since the members of the upper classes desired to be portrayed at the height of their splendour for the benefit of posterity, they surrounded themselves in their portraits with luxurious items that underlined the status, elegance and taste of the owner.