Mademoiselle Lescot had considerable success throughout her career. Her first master was Lethire, with whom she started her studies. In 1807, she moved to Rome at the invitation of friends, and remained there for seven years, studying the old masters. In 1810 Lescot sent her first painting to Paris to be shown at the Salon du Louvre. In 1814, her last year in Rome, Ingres executed a portrait of her in Italian costume. She married Mr. Haudebourt in 1820, who also sat for Ingres.
Lescot continued to exhibit in the Salon until 1840 and painted, amongst others, the duchesse de Berry. The present painting is undoubtedly a souvenir of her first years in Rome and represents one of the official guards of the Pope who are, by tradition, Swiss and employed by the Vatican.