Crisply painted and teeming with detail, Boilly's picture transports us to Napoleonic Paris, where we stand on a shady boulevard outside the Jardin Turc (Turkish Garden Café), a popular establishment that offered its middle-class clientele pleasures formerly reserved for the aristocracy. Young and old, fashionable and not, Parisians gather here for an afternoon's leisure. Two young street performers entertain the crowd: one shows an elegant couple his tame marmot, while the other puts on a puppet show for children hardly younger than himself.

A resident of the Marais neighborhood, in which the scene takes place, Boilly included a self-portrait, in spectacles and a top hat, at the painting's rightmost edge.


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