Sale of M. le Bailli de Breteuil.January 16, 1786, p. 235, no. 49, describes the composition of the picture, painted in Italy, and measuring 17 pouces 6 lignes by 23 pouces.
Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt. "Fragonard." Gazette des beaux-arts 18 (1865), p. 41, describe the picture, "L'Enjeu Perdu," as appearing in the Breteuil sale and reappearing the year before in the sale of Dr. Aussant; draw attention to its "fluid and highly finished execution . . . rare for Fragonard, contrary to his habit and almost to his temperament"; see in it Murillo's influence.
Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt. L'art du dix-huitième siècle. 2, 3rd ed. Paris, 1882, pp. 321–22.
Roger Portalis. Honoré Fragonard, sa vie et son oeuvre. Paris, 1889, vol. 1, p. 72; vol. 2, p. 276, with the dimensions 48 x 62 cm, lists the picture in the collection of the comte Duchâtel and notes that it sold for 4,500 francs at the Aussant sale.
Félix Naquet. Fragonard. Paris, 1892, p. 32.
Virgile Josz. Fragonard: Moeurs du XVIIIe siècle. 2nd ed. Paris, 1901, pp. 54–55, as Fragonard's earliest painting of the theme of the kiss.
Pierre de Nolhac. J.-H. Fragonard, 1732–1806. Paris, 1906, p. 124, adds the Chamgrand sale to the provenance, lists the painting in the Duchâtel collection, but illustrates the version belonging to Reginald Vaile (opp. p. 84).
David Carritt. Letter. 1956, presumes that Marchesa Baccupadule was the first owner.
Elizabeth E. Gardner. "Notes." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 15 (November 1956), n.p. inside cover, ill. in color on cover.
Louis Réau. Fragonard, sa vie et son oeuvre. Brussels, 1956, pp. 65, 157, calls it a replica of the Hermitage sketch, to which he assigns the provenance Breteuil, Chamgrand, Aussant, and Duchâtel, and which he believes to be the source of the 1766 engraving by Robert Brichet; confuses it with the Vaile example.
Georges Wildenstein. The Paintings of Fragonard, Complete Edition. London, 1960, pp. 224–25, no. 119, pl. 31, identifies it as the work commissioned by the Bailli de Breteuil; perhaps engraved by Robert Brichet in Rome and dedicated to Marchesa Baccupadule, but this engraving is not in the Bibliothèque Nationale; then confuses it with the version belonging to Vaile and suggests it may have figured in an anonymous sale of March 23, 1874, lot 29, listing Neumann, Wertheimer, and F. Plaut, New York, as former owners.
Jacques Thuillier. Fragonard. English ed. Geneva, 1967, pp. 9, 49–50.
Gabriele Mandel in L'opera completa di Fragonard. Milan, 1972, p. 92, no. 127, ill.
Denys Sutton. Fragonard. Exh. cat., National Museum of Western Art. Tokyo, 1980, unpaginaged, no. 28, ill. (color).
Séverine de Breteuil. Un grand collectionneur sous Louis XV: Le cabinet de Jacques-Laure de Breteuil, Bailli de l'Ordre de Malte 1723–1785. Exh. cat., Château de Breteuil. [Breteuil], 1986, pp. ii, 24–25, no. 108.
Raoul Ergmann. "La collection inédite du Bailli de Breteuil." Connaissance des Arts no. 413–14 (July–August 1986), p. 74, ill. in color.
Pierre Rosenberg and Barbara Brejon de Lavergnée. Panopticon italiano: un diario di viaggio ritrovato, 1759-1761. Rome, 1986, pp. 28, 53.
Pierre Cabanne. Fragonard. Paris, 1987, pp. 30, 41.
Jean-Pierre Cuzin. Jean-Honoré Fragonard: Vie et oeuvre, catalogue complet des peintures. Fribourg, Switzerland, 1987, pp. 49–50, 251 nn. 24–25, p. 274, no. 76, ill. in text (color) and in cat., is not certain that the Hermitage picture is a sketch for ours; includes in the provenance sales for the version formerly in the Goldschmidt collection; notes that the Bailli de Breteuil was in Rome from June 23, 1758.
Denys Sutton. "Jean-Honoré Fragonard: The World as Illusion." Apollo 125 (February 1987), pp. 105–6, ill., considers the Hermitage picture a sketch for ours.
Philip Conisbee. "New York: Fragonard at the Metropolitan." Burlington Magazine 130 (April 1988), p. 321, feels that this version may be "a later, more 'neo-classical' rendering . . . of the Leningrad picture"; dates ours "from the same period as 'La bonne mère'" and "even as late as the 1780s".
Pierre Rosenberg. Fragonard. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1988, pp. 63, 79, 82–83, no. 18, ill. (color), dates it about 1759 (the Bailli de Breteuil "moved into the Palace of Malta in June 1758, but made his solemn entrance into Rome only in April 1759"); publishes the drawing made after it by François Lonsing in 1766; observes that the MMA picture and that in the Hermitage have similar dimensions, and that the latter work cannot have been a sketch for the former, but nevertheless refers to the MMA painting as "the completed version".
Jean-Pierre Cuzin and Pierre Rosenberg in J. H. Fragonard e H. Robert a Roma. Exh. cat., Villa Medici. Rome, 1990, pp. 79–80, 89, no. 34, ill., identify it as the finished version of the St. Petersburg sketch and refer to the Goldsmith-Rothschild example as "autograph (?)"; see in it a farewell to the spirit and technique of Boucher.
Colin Harrison in The Dictionary of Art. 11, New York, 1996, p. 366.
Richard Rand. "The Intimate Interior in Eighteenth-Century French Genre Painting." Antiques 152 (September 1997), p. 329, pl. 6.
Richard Rand et al. Intimate Encounters: Love and Domesticity in Eighteenth-Century France. Exh. cat., Hood Museum of Art. Hanover, N.H., 1997, p. 138–39, 162, no. 22, ill. in color, suggests that Saint-Non—who arrived in Italy in 1759 and was the guest of the Bailli de Breteuil—negotiated this commission.
Florence de Voldère. La peinture flamande du XVIe au XVIIIe siècle. Paris, 2001, ill. in color, pp. 98, 311.
Colin B. Bailey in The Age of Watteau, Chardin, and Fragonard: Masterpieces of French Genre Painting. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. New Haven, 2003, pp. 31–32, 39 n. 276.
Thomas W. Gaehtgens in The Age of Watteau, Chardin, and Fragonard: Masterpieces of French Genre Painting. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. New Haven, 2003, pp. 280–81, 370, no. 78, ill. (color).
Jennifer D. Milam. Fragonard's Playful Paintings: Visual Games in Rococo Art. Manchester, 2006, pp. 110–13, colorpl. XIV.
Colin B. Bailey in French Art of the Eighteenth Century at The Huntington. [San Marino, Calif.], 2008, pp. 346, 348 n. 61.
Pierre Rosenberg in Federico Barocci, 1535–1612: l'incanto del colore, una lezione per due secoli. Exh. cat., Santa Maria della Scala, Siena. Cinisello Balsamo, Milan, 2009, pp. 382–83, no. 110, ill. (color).
The Libertine: The Art of Love in Eighteenth-Century France. New York, 2013, ill. pp. 430–31 (color).