Before 1830, the aim of Quebec portraitists was primarily to honour the social status of their models. On his return from Paris, Plamondon began striving to capture their personalities. This chromatically subtle painting is the product of a decade of artistic exploration. The composition, which forms an isosceles triangle, is lit from a spot behind the sitter, creating a sense of depth. The contrast between the black veil and the immaculate wimple concentrates attention on the face of Sister Saint-Alphonse, whose expression hints at an intense inner life.