This scene takes place in Paris between September 1870 and January 1871 when the city was besieged by the Prussian army and it allies.
After the French troops were defeated in Sedan and Metz, the only resistance the Prussian army had to overcome was in Paris where a government of national defense had been proclaimed. Despite a few spectacular escapes from the city by means of hot air balloons, all attempts to relieve the siege failed and the Parisians were left to endure lack of supply and communication with the rest of the country.
The caption reads in the original French:
Le siège de Paris. Une boucherie spéciale au marché Saint-Germain.
Histoire de la révolution de 1870-71 was first published as a series of fascicles by L’Éclipse, a weekly newspaper owned by François Polo. Polo published the text in book format some time later at Librairie Polo, which he also founded.