Émile Munier's early artistic training was intended to prepare him for work as an upholsterer, following in the footsteps of his father who designed for Les Gobelins
the tapestry markers in Paris. Yet, by 1869, Munier regularly exhibited at the Paris Salon
and in 1872 entered William Bouguereau's studio where he soon gained a reputation as one of his most talented students. Munier's son Henri and daughter Marie-Louise were among his favorite models. Despite the passing of time Munier often painted his children as they appeared in earlier compositions. Indeed, while dated from 1880, the present work depicts Marie Louise as she appeared in 1876. Rather than portraying his subjects as "little adults" stiffly posed in formal costume, Munier captured casual moments of daily life. The rich silks and fabrics of her bedroom, together with her coral necklace and lace trimmed nightgown, suggest the well-appointed home in which the girl lives.
A number of variations of the present work's subject were painted, which suggests that the composition was one of the artist’s favorites and that it was beloved by his patrons.