This genre scene, set in a private room, shows the charm of a Parisian apartment of the 18th century: on the table there are books, a globe, rolls of sheet music, and also a curious draped object (which may be a covered musical instrument). The well-dressed young lady stands stiffly with her guitar. Her insistent gaze engages the viewer, but the old woman and the boy are engrossed in the boy's play, oblivious to the viewer and the surroundings. In his depiction of this mundane scene, the artist tries to make an accurate observation of the daily life of an aristrocratic family of the 18th century.
This painting was formerly attributed to Louis-Leopold Boilly. Current scholarship, however, suggests a more convincing attribution to Michel Garnier. Little is known about Garnier's career, but his favorite theme was the daily life of aristocratic Parisian society. Garnier also often included musical instruments in his paintings, and their presence in this painting lends support to its attribution.