The idea of paying homage to Berlioz through his paintings came to Fantin-Latour after attending a performance of Roméo et Juliette on 5 December 1875. His first project, which was realised first as a sketch, then a lithograph and finally a painting, was entitled L'Anniversaire. Souvenir du 5 décembre 1875 [The Anniversary. Memories of the 5th December 1875].
Later he created 14 lithographs specifically for the monumental biography of Berlioz that his distinguished friend Adolph Jullien published in 1888: Hector Berlioz, sa vie et ses oeuvres (Paris, Librarie de l'art), with intially 30 copies of the print run. The subjects of these lithographs were various works of Berlioz.