A preliminary drawing for Nattier's portrait of Le Gobien dated 1724, now in a Canadian private collection (X. Salmon, op. cit., no. 9). Xavier Salmon notes that the arrangement of the dogs, the high horizon line and the thickly wooded background shows the influence on Nattier of Alexandre-François Desportes, while the finished picture owes more to Jean-Baptiste Santerre.
The sitter was the scion of an ancient Saint Malo family ennobled in 1572. As a young man, his considerable fortune depended from his father, a director of the Compagnie des Indes and from September 1720 Général de la Nation française des Indes. When the young Le Gobien married Marie-Modeste Martin in the cathedral of Saint Malo in 1724, the year of the present portrait, the marriage contract brought him a dowry of 100,000 livres.