In 1932 Martin was commissioned to paint a mural for the hall of honor in the town hall of the Fifth Arrondisement in Paris. He used the neighboring Jardin du Luxembourg, with its shady avenues of trees and the Basin du Luxembourg, as its setting. Martin depicted children, their parents, and courting couples in the five panels of the mural, capturing a tranquil slice of life amid the bustle of the city in one of the most beautiful urban spaces in Paris.
During the next three years, Martin executed a number of studies focusing on individual figures that would take their place in the commission. The young boy in the present painting appears in the central panel of the completed mural. Small toy boats in the background add to the sense of quiet leisure that resonates throughout these panels.