This drawing is related to Millet's 1857 Salon painting, now at the Musée d'Orsay (inv. RF592) (fig. 1), which remains one of his most celebrated works. Several preparatory drawings exist, for example one at the Louvre (inv. RF11231, recto), but elements of the present composition, details such as the presence of the male figures in the upper left quadrant, and a certain rigidity of line suggest that it is more closely related to the etching executed in 1855-56. (A.R. Murphy et al., Jean-François Millet. Drawn into the Light, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, exhib. cat., 1999, no. 42).