The text accompanying the title can be translated as follows:
'Roll up, Roll up Sirs, come and see, come and see Mmselle. Rose, the enormous woman, the most amazing, stunning in the World, the softness of her voice, the gentleness of her character and the thickness of her calves! The mysterious expression of her eyes. Mmselle. is accompanied by two large snakes.'
'Lolette my dear, cover your shoulder, can you not see that the English simpleton is making eyes at you?'
'Pull the cord my dear and show these ladies and gentlemen the great events in the time of the Emperor Napoleon the Great!'
The critic of the Art Journal of 1853 commented:
This is rather a large picture, recounting all the whimsicalities which might be assembled in such a place and on such an occasion. Scarcely any reflex of French character is forgotten. The great feature of the fair is Mlle. Rose, who is 'accompanied by two great serpents.' It is a work of much spirit in conception, and skilful in grouping.
The picture is typical of Parrott who spent much of his working life abroad, but who exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1835 to 1863. Having served as an apprentice to the engraver John Pye, he produced various sets of lithographs including London from the Thames and Paris et ses environs. He is perhaps best known for his Italian views, especially those of Rome and in 1868 he painted Vesuvius in eruption.
Following the July Revolution of 1830, the elected King Louis Philippe, Duke of Orleans, ruled France for 18 years of stable prosperity. In 1848, Louis Bonaparte, nephew of Napoleon I, was elected the first president of the Second Republic. On December 2 1851, followers of President Louis Bonaparte broke up the Legislative Assembly and established a dictatorship. In 1852, he was proclaimed Emperor Napoleon III by a national plebiscite.