Jacques-Joseph de Gault specialised in painting scenes both in enamel and on ivory, which emulated the Neoclassical fashion for hardstone cameos. De Gault's style developed through his work as a porcelain painter at the Sèvres factory from 1758 to 1760, and by 1777 he exhibited paintings imitating cameos at the Académie de Saint-Luc. De Gault's technique of painting classical vignettes à bas relief can be seen in the present lot as well as on thirteen boxes set with miniatures by the artist in the Louvre (S. Grandjean, Catalogue des tabatières, boîtes et étuis des XVIIIe et XIXe siècles du musée du Louvre, Paris, 1981, no. 55, 82, 83, 90, 103, 172, 207, 211, 240, 264, 394). Miniatures signed by and attributed to De Gault feature on boxes made by such notable Parisian goldsmiths as Pierre-François Drais (fl. 1763-1788), Jean Ducrollay (fl. 1734-1761), Charles Ouizille (fl. 1771-1830), and Adrien-Jean-Maximilien Vachette (fl. 1779-1839). The artist's most impressive commission was perhaps that of the jewel cabinet at Versailles for Queen Marie-Antoinette, partly illustrated in C. Jeannerat, 'De Gault et Gault de Saint-Germain', Bulletin de la Société de l'histoire de l'art français, 1835, opp. p. 224.
Many examples of his signed miniatures, like the present lot, depict scenes relating to Bacchanalia. Very similar miniatures by the artist can be seen on a box of 1782/83, by Adrien-Jean-Maximilien Vachette in the Gilbert Collection, now housed at the Victoria and Albert Museum (C. Truman, The Gilbert Collection of Gold Boxes, Los Angeles, 1991, pp. 108-110, no. 32).