Kauffman was a successful history and portrait painter and one of only two women on the founding committee of the Royal Academy of Arts. This drawing was attributed to Kauffman herself when it was bequeathed to the Scottish National Gallery but the attribution was changed to Dance shortly afterwards. There is nothing like it in his surviving work, but it has clearly been drawn by someone who greatly admires the sitter. It may have been drawn around 1764-6 while sitter and subject were in Rome. She stares at a blank sheet with the waiting porte-crayon in front of her. Rejecting the copy she has just made, Kauffman searches for inspiration from her imagination and learning - in order to elevate her art from simple imitation (of the anatomical figure on the table), to invention.