The present painting can be compared to three pictures by Boyer's contemporary, Pierre-Nicolas Huilliot (1674-1751), see M. Far, La Vie Silencieuse en France XVIIIme sicle, pp. 26-7 in which Huilliot used the same musical scores and instruments.
The book on the shelf inscribed 'Opera de Roland' is a 'tragedie en musique', inspired by an episode of Orlando Furioso by Ariosto, with the music written by Jean-Baptiste Lully (a favorite of Louis XIV) and the text by Jean-Philippe Quinault. This tragedy was played for the first time on Jan. 18, 1685 at the Grande Ecurie de Versailles.
The open book inscribed 'Acte troisieme...' is also a 'tragedie en musique', entitled 'Enee et Lavinie' with the text by Fontenelle and music by Pascal Colasse. It was played for the first time at the Acadmie Royale de Musique in 1691.