Bertaud (circa 1700-1771; also spelled Berthault and Berteau) was the founder of the French school of cello playing although he began his career studying the bass viol. Very few works by him survive. Lépicié also painted this composition, on panel and in an oval format (Gaston, op. cit., p. 55, no. 92). This drawing was later engraved by Frédéric Désiré Hillemacher (1811-1886).
P.G. Dreyfus, L'oeuvre peint et dessiné de Nicolas Bernard Lépicié, Paris, 1923, no. 346.
E. Norblin; Delbergue, Paris, 30 January 1863, lot 30 ('Vieillard coiffé d'un bonnet, il tient son instrument d'une main, de l'autre appuie son archet sur un cahier de musique.')
Alphonse de Rothschild.
With Charles E. Slatkin Galleries, New York.