The photogravure despicts a painting by J. L. Gerome. In the foreground littering the floor are books, papers, two greyhounds resting near each other. Middleground is a cluttered desk, music book propped, king is in disaray, coat-tails open, strap over right shoulder. More rolls of paper against the model of world, another dog in a chair, another on the floor. Background on right wall is the bust of Voltaire, books shelves on both sides of the globe.