Like his master Antoine Watteau, Pater often made several versions of his favourite fête galante compositions by combining and recombining figures within them to ever different effect. The composition was repeated, with significant differences, in a similarly sized fête champêtre entitled Les Plaisirs Champêtres in the collection of Alphonse de Rothschild, London, in the late nineteenth century (F. Ingersoll-Smouse, Pater, L'art Francais, Paris, 1928, no. 45, fig. 38). As in Watteau's fêtes galantes, the lovers in the present fête champêtre wear an imaginative mixture of contemporary clothing and fancy dress, with the women in elegant street clothes while the men wear theatrical costume. The easy humour that characterizes the art of Pater is in clear evidence as is his fine touch, feathery brushwork and unmistakable palette of pearly pinks, silvery greys, milky ivories and acid blues.
A trois crayons drawing of four figures at the centre of this composition, including the seated woman and tussling couple beside her, was in the collection of Edmond and Jules de Goncourt; it appeared as lot 230 in their sale, 16 February 1897 (see E. Launey, Les frères Goncourt collectioneurs de dessins, 1991, no. 248, fig. 253).