This impudent looking boy was probably painted when Shirreff was working in Madras, around 1800, and was perhaps connected with the Chase of the law firm Chase, Sewell and Chinnery. His slightly bulging eyes are reminescent of some of John Smart's sitters and it is plausible that Shirreff's illustrious predecessor in Madras did influence his work at this time. Both artists share a strong, warm-coloured palette as can be seen in the choice of the boy's pale orange tunic, against his yellow hair and a stormy sky background.
The miniature is painted with very fine, neat hatching and line work, as can be seen in the hair, with his glossy sheen. The artist has taken particular delight in mirroring the loose curls of hair and dress frill in the swirls of cloud.