The lithograph Talbot photographed is by Godefroy Engelmann (1788-1839), after the original work by Louis Léopold Boilly (1761-1845), "Réunion de trente-cinq têtes diverses", c. 1820s. An original lithograph is held at Yale University Art Gallery.
As the negative has not been cropped in to the image before printing, Talbot has allowed us to see how the artwork or lithograph has been secured before it was photographed. A sheet of decorative patterned wallpaper with a Rococo design has been used to protect the lithograph from the board it is fastened to. Strips of wood are used to weigh down or secure the side edges of the lithograph, while pins secure the top and bottom edge. The weights and the bottom pin cast shadows in the sunshine as the photograph was taken outdoors.