This composition was probably one of a series of four depicting the Four Ages of Man that were commissioned by Philippe de Vendôme, Grand Prieur of the Knights of Malta, who had been Raoux's patron in Rome. Another (unsigned and dated) composition of the series, L'Enfance, was offered at Sotheby's, New York, 28 January 1999, lot 290.
This series is recorded in the Inventaire après-décès de Raoux, as nos. 52, 53, 54 and 55: 'Item quatre tableaux, sans bordure, représentant les Quatre âges...prisés quatre-vingt livres'. Next in the inventory is listed another picture of the same subject as the present lot: 'Item un autre tableau peint sur toile, sans bordure, représentant la Vieillesse, no. 56, prisé vingt livres.' No dimensions are given for these pictures, and it has not been possible to ascertain which of the above two references refers to the present lot (see Georges Wildenstein, 'L'inventaire après décès de Jean Raoux (1734)', Gazette des Beaux-Arts, May-June 1958, p. 319).