This is a study for the picture Le Bouteux presented at the competition for the Prix de Rome in 1769. The picture, now in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, won the artist first place from Taillasson. In 1771 Le Bouteux left for Rome with Vincent (who did two caricatures of his fellow artist) and stayed there at least through 1775. From his later years only a handful of book illustrations are known, all executed between 1789 and 1791.
Le Bouteux was the son of an artist from Lille, Pierre-Michel Le Bouteux (1683-1750), and studied with Noël Hallé at the Académie Royale in Paris. Le Bouteux also executed a number of red chalk landscapes in the style of Vincent now in the Louvre (J.F. Méjanes, Le paysage en Europe du XVIe au XVIIIe siècle, exhib. cat., Paris, Musée du Louvre, 1990, no. 135) in Rouen (J.P. Cuzin and P. Rosenberg, J.H. Fragonard e H. Robert a Roma, exhib. cat., Rome, Villa Medici, 1991, no. 186) and in the Pierre-Adrien Pâris Collection in Besançon. Another figure drawing in pen and ink for the competition of 1769, representing Mucius Scaevola, is in the Baderou collection in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen.