Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon stood at the birth of Symbolism, which emerged in France in the 1880s. With its meditative atmosphere, simple forms and subdued colours, the Prague painting is a good example of this art. Its motif is old age looking at undeniably lost youth; its unconstrained brushwork and handling of figures prefigure the style of Paul Gauguin and of the Symbolists. The definitive painting is at the museum in Lyon. The picture was exhibited for the first time at the Paris Salon in 1864. A smaller replica exists in Caracas. In addition to the Prague study there is a second one, today at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.