After the lost work , possibly with Agnew, given to the artist's pupil and son-in-law, Louis Tocqué (Paris 1696-1772).
Jean-Marc Nattier established himself as one of the most successful society portraitists of his day, and his delicately coloured portraits are the epitome of the Rococo style that defined the court of King Louis XV. At the height of his success, in the 1740s, Nattier completed a spectacular series of portraits of Queen Maria Leczinska and her daughters, and his studio flourished.
The sitter of the present work is thought to be Louis-Antoine Crozat, baron de Thiers (1700-1770). His uncle, the noted collector Pierre Crozat (1667-1740), was the principal patron of Antoine Watteau and other early Rococo artists. During his lifetime Antoine had a reputation for exquisite taste and added considerably to his uncle's collection, which he partly inherited. In 1771, two years after his death, the collection, which comprised of works by artists such as Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt and Poussin were bought, through Denis Diderot, by Catherine II of Russia and went to the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.