Ettore Forti meticulously researched the classical objects and decorations in this historical genre painting, but he improbably combined a grand, luxurious setting with an intimate, domestic social gathering. He copied the painted architecture, swags of fruit and leaves, hanging masks, and instruments from Roman frescoes and based the floor marble and mosaic patterns, window grill pattern, and the klismos chair type on Roman models. The statues copy examples in Roman public and private collections.
By the late 1800s, such paintings of ancient Greece and Rome were very popular. Artists researched the elements of their settings and painted with careful photographic realism to present plausible representations of daily life in classical times. Many of these genre scenes also have erotic undercurrents, with languidly beautiful young women in the company of older men.