Although recorded, this work is not dated. Nevertheless, a judgement can be made with regard to the approximate date of the sculpture based on the almost symbolist stance, the high finish and the quality of the casting. It is, therefore, possible to date the piece to the early 1900s. Gérôme seems to have been inspired by three dimensional art towards the latter years of his career.
Gérôme's devotion and fascination with the classical world, specifically that of ancient Greece, was as strong as his interest in the orient. He had a good classical grounding from his father and understood both Latin and Greek. Greece itself, newly independent from the Ottoman Empire still carried on the aura of the orient, hence, at the time classically inspired subjects did not seem remotely incompatible with the lure of the east. In the same way the present bronze has more of the orient about it, notably in the exotic dress, the footware and the veil, suggesting Islamic rectitude. In many ways it prefigures the work of Klimt and the later symbolists.
Much has been made of the development of the use of colour in sculpture and Gérôme was particularly fascinated with the school of Tanagra, the name given to the small tinted figures, which reflected ordinary life in ancient Greece and originated in the Bocotian village of Tanagra. The use of ivory, tinted marble and patinated bronze in the present work exemplifies this fascination. Having taken up sculpture quite late in his career, Gérôme was quick to gain success with his new endeavor. As soon as 1878, less than a decade after his first sculpture piece, he would experience his first great success at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. Gérôme was encouraged by the sculptor Frémiet and described himself as his pupil in the catalogue of the 1901 Salon.
The present work is recorded as S65 in Gerald Ackerman's Gérôme catalogue raisonée, where he notes that there were three versions of 86 cm., 66 cm. and 48.5 cm. respectively.