Boldini left his native Italy in 1871 and moved to Paris; the glittering cultural centre of the Belle époque. Here, the artist emerged himself in the new cultural milieu that threw together aristocrats and artists with dancers, musicians and coquettes of the demi-monde. Like his French contemporaries, Boldini relished in depicting this new profound cultural and social change in the arenas of bustling streets, cafés, and concert halls. However, the artist also was drawn to the spaces in-between the social frivolities and festivities. In these works, he contrasts the highly-contrived fashions for elaborate furniture, dress, and social occasion, with the unaffected quiet, slumbering female figure (see for an example in oil, P. Dini et F. Dini, Giovanni Boldini 1842-1931. Catalogo ragionato,, Turin, 2002, III, no. 226, ill.). The present sheet is a brilliant example of such work; in a free, but at the same time controlled technique, Boldini creates an intimate scene bathed in a strong light. By leaving large areas along the edges blank, the focus is entirely on the girl's face, which is rendered with the greatest delicacy and precision.