Taillasson was a pupil of Joseph-Marie Vien, whose studio he joined in 1764. After a sojourn in Rome, he settled in Paris and was admitted to the Académie in 1782. He exhibited regularly at the Salon between 1783 and 1806, much of his work characterised by large theatrical compositions and grandiloquent emotion, qualities much admired by the connoisseur Lebreton. Taillasson was primarily a painter but he also wrote several notable art historical books, among them the Observations sur quelques grands peintres (Paris, 1807).
Two studies for the present picture are known, both executed in black chalk on paper. The first, showing some notable differences in the objects on the right side but otherwise homogenous, is in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (see J. Whiteley, op. cit., no. 19, illustrated). Another drawing, signed, is in a private collection, New York.