Burne-Jones's interest in the Sleeping Beauty story of the Briar Rose began as early as a tile panel in 1864. A small series of oil paintings for William Graham followed, and then a larger set of four oils, finally completed in 1890 before being bought by Alexander Henderson, later 1st Lord Faringdon, and installed in Buscot Park, Oxfordshire. Changes during this process to the Garden Court scene were worked out in this series of six large bodycolours, now in the Birmingham collection.
At a Christie's sale, on the 3 October 1995, lot 107 was a study in black chalk for 'The Garden Court' from the 'Briar Rose' Series. It is a highly detailed drawing of a sleeping attendant, in the same pose and similar details to this study, it may have been the original chalk study for this gouache.