This sheet contains sketches for two different unidentified scenes. The upper scene depicts a square-jawed, mustachioed man standing in front of a railing or counter. Two figures, suggested only by their contours, lean upon the rail or counter from the other side. Between them appears an unidentified object. The lower scene represents two men standing on a platform. The nearer figure, wearing shorts, bends forward to lift something. Another, larger objects sits in front of him. Behind him stands a figure in a long coat. This second figure seems to address the heads of an audience behind and below the platform.
Jean-Louis Forain had a long and distinguished career both as an associate of Édouard Manet and the Impressionists and as an illustrator and satirist. The subjects of these two sketches remain unidentified, but they nevertheless display Forain’s fascination with depicting urban social life and public spectacles throughout his career.