A pupil of Delaroche and Drölling, Viger painted the present work possibly as a study for a larger work entitled Les plaisirs de Malmaison which was exhibited at the Salon of 1869 (whereabouts unkown). The Château de Malmaison was purchased in 1799 by Joséphine Bonaparte, first wife of Napoleon, and later Empress of the French. This work may depict the Empress and her entourage. Another work by Viger, La rosa de la Malmaison, depicts Napoleon and Joséphine in Malmaison's rose garden. The Empress enlisted the services of the French architects Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine to renovate Malmaison in the new Empire style of interior decoration, which can be seen in the present work. The Château is now a museum.