Jacquet was a master portraitist but received greater recognition for his Salon submissions, including three medals and the high accolade of Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur by the time the present work was exhibited. This costume piece is set in the 16th century, an early choice in his repertoire of courtly scenes. It depicts a ball given for Henri III in Venice as he travelled from Poland to assume the French crown. Henri was the third and favourite son of Catherine de Medici and she used her influence to ensure he was elected to the vacant throne of Poland in 1573. Upon his brother's death the following year, Henri abandoned Poland and travelled in state to be crowned at Reims in 1575. Jacquet has chosen to portray the grandest of the Renaissance dances, the Pavane, often used to herald the entrance of Kings in full majesty. It was a simple, processional dance, in which the dancers walked in pairs, the lady on the right.