The likeness of John Flaxman, R.A. (1755-1826), the eminent sculptor, draughtsman and designer, can be compared to the portrait of 1795 by John Romney of Flaxman modelling the bust of his patron William Hayley, now in the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (D. Bindman, ed., John Flaxman, R.A., exhibition catalogue, Kunsthaus, Hamburg, and Royal Academy, London, 1979, p. 36, fig. 15). Judging from the sitter's bald patch, one might conclude that the date must be about the same.
Another version of this pastel, showing less of the sitter's waistcoat, is in the York City Art Gallery. At one time it was regarded as a self- portrait.