Edgar Degas quickly sketched three rather cruel caricatures on one side of the sheet and then turned his sketchbook upside down to fill the other side of the page. At the upper right he drew a caricature of a soldier in a field marshal's uniform, sporting a pig-like snout and a walrus mustache. Below are two caricatures of a man with a narrow, waxed mustache and a goatee, perhaps the former French emperor Napoleon III or Degas's friend, the author Edmond de Goncourt.
When the sheet is inverted, five more heads can be distinguished on the right. In the center of the page, the bust of a priest with long straight hair and arms folded against his chest faces left. Around the side of the sheet are four heads in profile, with either long, luxuriant hair or curling mustaches. The head in the top right corner is probably a portrait of Degas's friend, the author Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly, who appears elsewhere in the sketchbook