In 1860 Pils accompanied Napoleon III to Algeria, which was conquered by France in 1830. During his stay, he gathered material for his painting commemorating the Emperor's visit titled La fête donnée à LL. MM. l'Empereur et l'Impératrice, à Alger, le 18 septembre 1860, a monumental canvas commissioned for Versailles and possibly destroyed during the insurrection of the Paris Commune. This forceful drawing is a large compositional sketch for that painting, depicting Napoleon III and Eugénie's reception of the Algerian tribal leaders. Napoleon was profoundly impressed with their qualities and envisioned a plan for preserving most of Algeria for the Muslims by founding a royaume arabe (Arab kingdom). This drawing was followed by two oil sketches, one sold in these Rooms and now in Musées et domaine nationaux de Compiègne (inv. 2006.007; Christie's, New York, 25 October 2006, lot 20), the second one in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (inv. 2017.202.11).