Imbued with a sense of peaceful introspection characteristic of Lebasque's sensitive portrayals of his family, En forêt, la cueillette perfectly captures the tranquil atmosphere of a hot summer's day and demonstrates the artist's acute sensitivity to light and texture. Depicting his wife Ella with their two daughters, Marthe (b. 1894) and Nono (b. 1900), the present work most probably dates from circa 1904, and recalls the spectacular Le goûter sur l'herbe (Musée d'Angers), painted at Montevrain in 1903, the year that Lebasque first exhibited at the Salon d'Automne and the same year that his work at the Salon des Indépendants was highly praised by the aging Impressionist master Camille Pissarro. Lebasque was not to visit the south of France until the summer of 1906 at the suggestion of Henri Manguin, but the sun-drenched landscape and gentle character of his depictions of his family were already established in his art. Recalling her father's contentment, his eldest daughter Marthe later said of the artist dubbed 'the painter of joy and light': 'He had a happy disposition, he was content in the midst of his family. He was happy about painting... He adored us forming a happy image. He felt that very strongly, and conveyed that image with such strength in his paintings' (quoted in exh. cat. Lebasque 1865-1937, San Francisco, 1986, p. 113).