This drawing is related to a picture in the Louvre and an engraving, in reverse, by Jean-Baptiste-Marie Pierre (illustrated in Paris, op. cit., no. 28 and p. 190, fig. 2). The picture, the print and the drawing differ from each other in a number of respects, mainly that the shape of the chairs are the same in the picture and drawing and the background of the picture and print are the same and differ from that in the drawing. The kneeling girl in the present drawing also wears a necklace she lacks in the other versions. Saint-Aubin copied another variant of the composition which was included in the duc de Saint-Aignan sale in 1776.
The drawing illustrates a passage of La courtisane amoureuse, a Conte of La Fontaine: 'L'amoureuse Constance veut aujourd'hui de laquais vous servir;...le jeune homme y consent. Elle s'approche, elle le déboutonne.... Ce ne fut pas tout; elle le déchaussa'. Constance, a Roman prostitute, falls in love with Camille, who unfortunately does not believe she is sincere. To show him her devotion she serves him like a valet. Convinced and touched by her love he marries her.
Subleyras painted a number of compositions based on the Conte de La Fontaine. Because the Duc de Saint-Aignan, French Ambassador in Rome, in 1732-34, owned some of these pictures it was thought that he commissioned Subleyras to paint them. But the multiplicity of the compositions, such as the Frère Luce or Les oies du Frère Philippe, contradicts this theory. The pictures were nonetheless completed by 1735 as they were engraved by Pierre between 1735 and 1740. Many other contemporary artists, such as Vleughels, Pater, Lancret and Fragonard, illustrated the Contes. A drawing by Boucher at Waddesdon Manor depicts the same subject as the present drawing.