François Renaud's mount, presumably contemporary to the drawing, bears an inscription on the back noting that it was in the artist's 1809 posthumous sale. The imprecise catalogue entries and multiple group lots preclude confirmation of this.
Datable the 1770s after Robert's return from Rome to Paris, this composition evokes the pastoral themes popularized by François Boucher. Indeed, Robert's 1809 sale included over 200 drawings by Boucher.
For other pastoral red chalk drawings by Robert from the 1770s, see Shepherds crossing a waterfall (Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art), Two figures at rest in a clearing (Valence, Musée des Beaux-Arts), and Young girls with a bird cage (Valence, Musée des Beaux-Arts) (repr. in V. Carlson, Hubert Robert: Drawings & Watercolors, exh. cat. Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, 1978, nos. 32, 35, 46).