Sculptor and cabinetmaker of the Royal Family in Turin, Bonzanigo became a master in the art of microscultura. He was frequently commissioned for the Savoy residences: in Turin, Moncalieri, Rivoli and Venaria. In 1787, he was named wood sculptor of Vittorio Amadeo III, King of Sardinia, and in 1817, after the fall of Napoleon, First Sculptor to Victor Emmanuel 1st. Many portraits carved by Bonzanigo are known depicting the Savoy family, Piedmontese aristocracy and members of Napoleon's inner circle. A profile of Napoleon sold by Sotheby's New York, on 31 January 2013, lot 412, is comparable to the present portrait. The latter was probably carved before he was dismissed by Napoleon and exiled in the Jura on 10th September 1805.