Vibert was a master of the small-scale amusing anecdotal scenes which had wide appeal among the sophisticated art patrons of Paris. His wife was an actress in the Commédie française and the influence of the theatre upon his painting is evident. For Vibert, the narrative was always essential to the artistic although the story is not always obvious. Fortunately, in his last year he published the two-volume La Comedie en Peinture in which he documented most of his works and provided explanatory narratives for each.
Les Apprêts is described in the book titled L'Espagne Galante and is translated as the following:
The Sun sparkles in the streets of Seville. It's a Sunday in summer. There must have been the running of the bulls and everyone got dressed to go out. In one hour there won't be a single soul that lives in any house in the town.
They eagerly took a piece of fruit and a biscuit, flushed from a glass of Alicante. The Señora finishes getting ready and admires herself in the mirror resting on the corner of the table; her nimble fingers have knocked over the bouquet of roses brought in for her party. Chosen and then cast away just as the flower that complements her capricious beauty.
At the other end of the table, a bit in the shadow, the student who loves her envelopes her with a passionate look. His smile is tender and sweet but his penknife that he is sharpening slowly, flashes with metallic light. She is a coquette, and he is jealous.