In 1880, Mosè Bianchi exhibited The Return from the Festival in the Promotrice held in Genoa and in the Esposizione di Belle Arti in Brera where it won the approval of critics and public alike. Subsequently, the painting entered the Ferdinando Salterio Collection. Following its success at the Brera exhibition the subject was much in demand by collectors, which justified the many replicas. The most important of these, dated 1887, was initially in the Francesco Ponti Collection and is now held by the Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Milan. The protagonists of this lively genre scene are two altar boys on a narrow road in the Brianza countryside, followed by a larger group of altar boys in the distance. They are returning from a festival in the pouring rain that shows no signs of letting up, and have been stopped by some honking geese. The subject was not new in the Monza artist’s genre painting, but here it is enriched by the outdoor setting which is rendered with masterly light effects and eloquent colour combinations, both characteristic of Lombard Naturalism.