This terracotta, which was probably a maquette for a group to be executed in marble or bronze, has traditionally been called 'La France reconnaisante à Necker'. Jacques Necker (1723-1804) was Director of Finances in the closing years of the ancien régime and, although his reputation fluctuated wildly, it is possible that this group commemorates one of the occasions when he was thought to be largely responsible for rescuing the country's financial position.
The attribution is also a traditional one, but it is supported by comparisons with a number of sketches which were included in the catalogue of the recent Pajou exhibition. Among these, one might cite the group of Buffon Seated, a small standing figure of Bossuet, and Henri IV Trampling the Hydra of Anarchy (Paris, loc. cit.).