Jean-Baptiste Huet was a painter and etcher who was born in Paris in October 1745. He first studied under the animal painter Charles Dagomer (died pre-1768) and then received tuition from Jean Baptiste Leprince (1734-1781) and Franois Boucher (1703-1770). He became an associate of the Académie in 1768 and a full member a year later. Huet excelled as a natural history painter, specializing in animals and exotic birds. He had a fresh and naive naturalistic style in contrast to the stylized composition that typified Boucher and his circle. He spent much of his time observing his subjects from nature at a summer residence in Villiers-sur-Orge.
These watercolours can be compared with A Study of two Pumpkins numbered '1' (upper left), in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, exhibited at the Royal Academy, London, France in the Eighteenth Century, 1968, no. 342. Other works by Huet on similar sized paper, with black-lined mounts and numbering upper left are known, and it is possible that they may have formed part of a sketchbook.