Born in Bruges, Joseph Benoît Suvée worked primarily in France where he is best known for his precise neo-classical style. After travelling in Italy under the prestigious Prix de Rome he returned to Paris and was subsequently admitted to the French Academy in 1780. He soon secured lodgings in the Louvre and opened a school of drawing for young women - a rare institution in 18th-century France when women were rarely admitted into the French Academy. This red chalk drawing of a young woman with beautifully detailed facial features and hairstyle might be a portrait of one of his pupils. Suvée often incorporated classically-inspired profile views like this one into his large history paintings.