The present sheet is possibly related to two drawings of a woman and a child in a forest, in the Louvre, and in a private collection, both dating from Chassériau's Roman period of 1840 (L.-A. Prat, Dessins de Théodore Chassériau, Paris, 1988, II, no. 1730 and M. Sandoz, Théodore Chassériau, Paris, 1974, p. 27, fig. 5).
Chassériau went to Italy in July 1840 to join his teacher Ingres, who had been director of the Académie de France in Rome from 1834. Chassériau stayed in Rome from 25 August 1840 to 28 January 1841. There he executed numerous studies for the now destroyed decoration of the Cour des Comptes in Paris, for which the present drawing is possibly preparatory. Twelve further sheets executed by Chassériau in Rome in September 1840 are in the Louvre.