After spending his early years in Stockholm, where he was taught by his father, Guillaume-Thomas Taraval, Jean-Hugues entered the studio of Jean-Baptiste Pierre in Paris. In 1769 he was reu as a member of the Acadmie Royale with the Triumph of Bacchus for the ceiling of the Galerie d'Apollon in the Louvre and appointed a professor in 1785. As a decorative painter he was much in demand, receiving commissions for the Ecole Militaire (1773), the Collge de France (1777) and Versailles (1780). He also exhibited regularly at the Salon. His painting is reliant on the work of Franois Boucher, Charles-Joseph Natoire and his former master, Pierre.
These pictures, dated 1772, combine the strongly narrative quality of much of late eighteenth-century French painting with the continuing fascination for the Orient, that had been firmly established in French art nearly a century earlier largely through the work of the migr, Jean-Baptiste van Mour, and that was continued by, among others, de Favray, Carle van Loo, Boucher and Jeaurat.