Catalogue des tableaux des trois écoles . . . du cabinet de feu M le Marquis de Véri. Hôtel de Bullion, Paris. December 12, 1785, p. 24, no. 35, as "représentant deux jeunes filles occupées à des jeux de leur âge; la plus petite est montée sur un cheval de carton porté par des roulettes, & sa soeur est auprès d'elle qui la soutient & pousse l'équipage . . ."; with the dimensions 37 x 30 pouces.
Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt. L'art du dix-huitième siècle. Vol. 2, 3rd ed. Paris, 1882, p. 374, as "Les Jeunes Soeurs," engraved by Vidal, and sold in the 1785 Veri sale for 350 livres to M. de Saint-Marc.
Roger Portalis. Honoré Fragonard, sa vie et son oeuvre. Paris, 1889, vol. 1, p. 63, ill. opp. p. 114 (1st state of engraving); vol. 2, pp. 275, 329, no. 116 (Vidal's engraving).
Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt. L'art du dix-huitième siècle. definitive ed. Paris, 1906, vol. 3, p. 288.
Pierre de Nolhac. J.-H. Fragonard, 1732–1806. Paris, 1906, p. 131.
Georges Grappe. H. Fragonard: Peintre de l'amour au XVIIIe siècle. Paris, 1913, vol. 1, p. 120; vol. 2, p. 65, no. 31 (the engraving), as among works dating about 1780.
A. Damécourt. "Nos échos: Un Fragonard." Le Cousin Pons 1 (December 15, 1916), pp. 141–42, ill. (engraving).
"Dans les galeries d'art." New York Herald [Paris] (December 2, 1916), p. 4, col. 6, as Rosalie Fragonard and Marguerite Gérard; bought by Wildenstein from Zarine, who found it in the vicinity of Stockholm.
"Discovered Fragonard." American Art News 15 (January 6, 1917), p. 5, ill. (engraving).
Briggs Davenport. "A Fragonard Rediscovered." American Art News 15 (March 17, 1917), p. 5.
L[ouis]. V[auxcelles]. "Art ancien: Un chef-d'oeuvre de Fragonard retrouvé." Le carnet des artistes no. 2 (February 15, 1917), pp. 9–11, ill. (shown at its present size, 72 x 54 cm), finds the cutting down of the canvas "a simple question of taste"; accepts the identification of the girls as Rosalie Fragonard and Marguerite Gérard.
A. Damécourt. "A propos d'un Fragonard." Le Cousin Pons 2 (March 1, 1917), p. 182, ill. (engraving).
Louis Réau. L'art français aux États-Unis. Paris, 1926, p. 142.
Louis Réau. Fragonard, sa vie et son oeuvre. Brussels, 1956, pp. 167, 245–46.
Georges Wildenstein. "L'Abbé de Saint-Non, artiste et mécène." Gazette des beaux-arts, 6th ser., 54 (November 1959), p. 228, illustrates a pastel after this picture by Saint-Non (1977.383), reads the date on it as 1779, and notes that most of Saint-Non's copies after Fragonard are based on works from about 1770.
Georges Wildenstein. The Paintings of Fragonard, Complete Edition. London, 1960, p. 305, no. 476, pl. 106, as "The Two Sisters," or "Portrait of Rosalie Fragonard and her Aunt, Marguerite Gérard".
Elizabeth E. Gardner. "Four French Paintings from the Berwind Collection." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 20 (May 1962), pp. 265, 268, fig. 6, mentions Fragonard's preliminary sketch in the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon.
René Gimpel. Diary of an Art Dealer. English ed. New York, 1966, p. 33, entry for June 10, 1918, notes that he sold to Berwind "Fragonard's Les Deux Soeurs, an [sic] engraving, for $194,000".
Gabriele Mandel in L'opera completa di Fragonard. Milan, 1972, p. 108, no. 501, ill., date the painting before 1779 on the basis of their reading of the date on Saint-Non's pastel.
Eunice Williams. Drawings by Fragonard in North American Collections. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1978, p. 136, compares the younger child with the sitter in Fragonard's red chalk drawing, "Young Girl Taking a Nap" (ill. p. 137), whom she tentatively identifies as Rosalie Fragonard.
Mary Ann Wurth Harris. "The Abbé de Saint-Non and His Pastel Copy of a Painting by Fragonard." Apollo 110 (July 1979), pp. 57, 60–61, fig. 2, reads the date on the pastel unhesitatingly as 1770 and notes that Rosalie Fragonard was an infant in 1770 (b. 1769) and Marguerite Gérard did not come to live with the Fragonard family until 1775; remarks that the collector who had the picture cut down may have done so "simply because he was so distressed by Fragonard's careless drawing of the body of the older girl"
Denys Sutton. Fragonard. Exh. cat., National Museum of Western Art. Tokyo, 1980, unpaginated, no. 77, ill. (color), misquotes the date on the pastel as 1790.
Jean-Pierre Cuzin. Jean-Honoré Fragonard: Vie et oeuvre, catalogue complet des peintures. Fribourg, Switzerland, 1987, pp. 127–28, 296–97, no. 195, ill. (in text and catalogue), dates our painting 1770? or 1772?; rejects the identification of the sitters as Rosalie Fragonard and Marguerite Gérard.
Pierre Rosenberg. Fragonard. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1988, pp. 332–34, no. 157, ill. (color), observes that it was painted not later than 1770, claiming that "1779 is the date generally agreed on" for the pastel, and adding that the Marquis de Véri assembled his collection between 1775 and 1779; notes that the older of the two sisters depicted appears at the right in Fragonard's "Visit to the Nursery".
Pierre Rosenberg. Tout l'oeuvre peint de Fragonard. Paris, 1989, pp. 103–4, no. 294, ill., dates it about 1770–72.
Colin B. Bailey. Patriotic Taste: Collecting Modern Art in Pre-Revolutionary Paris. New Haven, 2002, pp. 119, 278 n. 93, pl. 108.
Jennifer D. Milam. Fragonard's Playful Paintings: Visual Games in Rococo Art. Manchester, 2006, pp. 93–95, 102 nn. 54–55, colorpl. IX.
Katharine Baetjer and Marjorie Shelley. "Pastel Portraits: Images of 18th-Century Europe." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 68 (Spring 2011), p. 25.