Pastels by Fragonard are extremely rare. In his monograph on the artist, Jean-Pierre Cuzin mentions only two, both of which he dates around 1785: the Portrait of an old woman in Besancon (op. cit., p. 231, fig. 291) and the present work. Cuzin suggests, however, that Fragonard may have executed many more pastels, and 18th Century auction and exhibition catalogues mention quite a few works in this technique. The present pastel could be the Amour au pastel exhibited at the Salon de Lille in 1786 (no. 27), which was in the collection of the Marquis de Gramont.