The drawing dates from the later years of the artist's career. There are affinities with the head of the handmaiden at Venus's feet in the large Venus at Vulcan's forge, dated 1769, now in the Kimbell Museum, Fort Worth (A. Ananoff and D. Wildenstein, François Boucher, Fribourg, 1976, II, no. 675).
The drawing is laid down on a mount bearing the stamp of Jean-Baptiste Glomy (1711-1786), an art expert who organized many auctions but whose main activity was to mount and frame drawings and prints. His mounts - which combined black and gold framing lines on blue or grey cardboard and were then put under glass - became so fashionable that the term 'églomisé' was soon attached to any framed mount resembling his.
The drawing must have been in a Swedish collection quite early on as when it was sold in Stockholm in 1931 as part of the Palm collection (possibly C.V. Palm, former director of the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm) it was described as being in a 'Gustaviansk Ram', i.e. a frame of the reign of King Gustav III (1771-1794).
We thank Alastair Laing for his kind help in cataloguing this lot.