This is Corot's only equestrian portrait. The sitter was a neighbour of the artist at Ville d'Avray, where Corot often worked.
Though small in scale, the painting evokes a long tradition of equestrian portraiture. While such paintings are often monumental in scale and depict warriors and hunters, the informality of this image, the rider turning in the saddle to greet his neighbour, suggests that Corot may have had in mind a more casual British tradition of equestrian portraits of landowners leisurely enjoying their domain.
The painting, which dates from about 1850-5, descended in the Pivot family.