Jacques Marquet de Montbreton de Norvins (1769-1854) was a prominent figure in early nineteenth century France. From a royalist family, he escaped during the Revolution to join the Sayn-Wittgenstein regiment. During this period of exile he also became part of the circle surrounding Mme. de Staël.
Disillusioned with the royalists and determined to find a position in the new order, he returned to France and worked in the prefecture of the Seine. He later took part in General Leclerc's ill-fated expedition to Santo Domingo. During the French occupation of Rome he was appointed Prefect of Police in Rome. Norvins was painted by Ingres (London National Gallery) and it is this portrait to which the current lithograph is most closely related.
The identity of the sitter was unknown to Delteil. His name must nevertheless have been know to Alexis Rouart who would have been familiar with the subject as the oil was in the collection of Degas.