Giuseppe Maria Bonzanigo (d. 1820) and his workshop received particularly great acclaim for their microscultura and counted the House of Savoy and subsequently Napoleon among their many patrons. The almost microscopic details - the fanciful vases, flowers, foliage and coin garlands spilling from cornucopiae as well as the portrait medallions to the corners - are typical of Bonzanigo's oeuvre and can be found in a number of related micro-carvings and miniature frames by him, including an intriguing relief-carved self-portrait of circa 1795 (see C. Bertolotto and V. Villani (eds.), 'Giuseppe Maria Bonzanigo: Intaglio minuto e grande decorazione', Exhibition Catalogue, Venaria, 1989, p. 32) and a portrait relief of Napoleon Bonaparte, sold Sotheby's, Amsterdam, 27 March 2007, lot 1208 (Euro 108,000).
The present portrait miniature derives from a signed and dated work of 1791 by French artist Jean-Antoine Laurent (1763-1832), formerly in the Pierre de Regaini Collection, Paris, sold Christie's London, 10 December 2002, lot 96, and now in the Emil S. Kern Collection, Winterthur, Switzerland (B. Hofstetter, Die Welt der Bildnisminiatur. Meisterwerke aus der Sammlung Emil S. Kern, Bern, 2008, illustrated pp. 150-151).