Adélaïde Labille-Guiard made portraits of some of the most important actors of her time, like Brizard (Paris, Théâtre de l'Odéon), Ducis (Paris, Comédie française) and Lekain (Milan, Museo Teatrale alla Scala). The present portrait is especially close to another portrait of an actress as Cleopatra who has sometimes been identified as Adrienne Lecouvreur and was exhibited at the Salon de la Correspondance in 1782 (Jeffares, op. cit., p. 273, ill.), and L'Heureuse surprise now at the Getty Museum, Los Angeles (op. cit., p. 273, illus.).
Claire-Josèphe Léris-Hippolyte Legris de Latude, called Mademoiselle Clairon (1723-1803), is arguably the most famous French actress of the eighteenth century. She began her career at the Comédie française in 1743 as Phèdre and retired in 1768. In 1759, Carle van Loo painted her as Medea in a painting now at Potsdam.