The portrait was probably exhibited at the Salon in 1759. The sitter, the Comte de Vaudreuil, (1740 - 1817), son of the Governor of Santo Domingo, a French colony in the West Indies, is represented at the age of 18. His origins are stressed in the painting, which is unusual in showing the sitter holding out a map hanging on the wall, as he points to the place of his birth. The armour on the square of parquet at his feet, contrasting with the elegance of the chair and the costume, indicates military ambitions and the map in the background represents Germany, where Vaudreuil acted as aide-de-camp to the French commander during the Seven Years' War.
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN