That’s a cat at the bottom of the steps.
A re-post from 2013. . .
Strolling in Bagatelle Park, Paris, France, ca. 1920, a hand-colored glass lantern slide by an unknown photographer, via Archives of American Gardens, Garden Club of America Collection, Smithsonian Institution (used here by permission).
(Click on the picture to enlarge it.)
The park has been a botanical garden inside the Bois de Boulogne since 1905. Today, it’s best known for its over 9,000 rose bushes. The land was originally laid out in 1777 in a fashionable Anglo-Chinois style as a garden for the Chateau de Bagatelle — built by the Count of Artois in only 64 days as part of a bet with Marie Antoinette.
The Archives of American Gardens (top image) holds over 60,000 photos and records documenting 6,300 historic and contemporary American gardens. At its core are almost 3,000 hand-colored glass lantern and 35mm slides donated by the Garden Club of America, which is the source of this image.
The garden terrace of the Myron Hunt house, 200 North Grand Avenue, Pasadena, California, 1917, a hand-colored glass lantern slide by Frances Benjamin Johnston, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
This looks like such a tranquil and comfortable garden space — while at the same time, just a little mysterious. If you look closely, you can see that there is a simple rope and board swing hanging from a tree limb in the center, and at least one of the chairs is a rocking chair.
There is another Johnston image of the garden here, looking across an open garden room to the steps and elevated bust shown above.