A study with many differences for a larger and more finished drawing now at the Louvre (R.F. 40440; Catalogue de la donation Othon Kaufmann et François Schlageter au Département des peintures, Paris, 1984, no. 5). The latter was exhibited at the 1769 Salon (no. 160) as a pendant to The death of a cruel father abandoned by his children (Tournus, Musée Greuze; Greuze the Draftsman, exhibition catalogue, New York, The Frick Collection, 2002, no. 69).
The present drawing is in reverse to the Louvre sheet where the point of view is wider, leaving more space for the depiction of the room and its furnishings, rather summarily indicated in the present drawing. Most of the figures appear in similar attitudes in each drawing although Greuze has added a few more in the more finished version.
As had already been noted by Gabriel de Saint-Aubin on his illustrated copy of the Salon's livret (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale), Greuze seems to have taken his inspiration from Poussin's celebrated Death of Germanicus, now in the Institute of Arts, Minneapolis.