This drawing relates to In the Forest (Nancy, Musée des Beaux-arts), a painting presented by Dagnan-Bouveret in 1893 at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-arts. It is possibly a very accomplished preliminary sketch of a final work or more likely, a drawing "after the painting". The use of very fine vellum paper, and the dimensions comparable to those of an etching (Dijon, Musée Magnin) of the painting suggest that this is an intermediate traced copy.
Dagnan-Bouveret, along with Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848-1884) who influenced him, and in some respects, Victor Prouvé (1858-1943) and Emile Friant (1865-1952), belonged to a movement of artists who changed the course of academic naturalism in the 1880s, by moving away from its established form to more modern subjects and greater realism. Here, in a composition resembling a nativity scene and revealing the influence of Puvis de Chavannes, this gathering of humble workers, united and emotionally stirred as they listen to music in the middle of the countryside, has even more poetic and spiritual intensity than the painting with its immaculate finish.