Jean-François Millet. Letter to Alfred Sensier. August 6, 1872 [published in Ref. Sensier 1881, p. 349], describes this picture as a sketch he is working on of a herdsman blowing his horn to collect his cattle at the end of the day.
Alfred Sensier. La Vie et l'oeuvre de J.-F. Millet. Paris, 1881, p. 349, identifies this picture as the one described by Millet in his letter [Ref. Millet 1872].
Clarence Cook. Art and Artists of Our Time. New York, 1888, vol. 1, pp. 248–49, as in the collection of Sidney Dillon, New York; calls it "one of Millet's most poetic pictures".
Wyatt Eaton. "Recollections of Jean François Millet: With Some Account of His Drawings for His Children and Grandchildren." Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine 38 (May 1889), p. 92 [reprinted in John C. Van Dyke, "Modern French Masters," 1896, p. 183], recalls seeing this picture, called "The Cowherd," during a visit to Millet's studio in 1873; describes it as thinly painted over an ink outline, adding that "this was undoubtedly the work of a single day, or of a few hours, after the picture had been drawn in outline".
Étienne Moreau-Nélaton. Millet raconté par lui-même. Paris, 1921, vol. 3, p. 86, reproduces the pastel version of this composition (formerly collection Émile Gavet, now Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington).
Robert L. Herbert. Letter to Mrs. Leonard Harris. January 19, 1962, dates the Corcoran Gallery pastel 1866 and mentions a drawing of the same composition (about 1857–58; formerly Knoedler's).
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. "XIX Century." French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2, New York, 1966, pp. 90–91, ill., as "Calling the Cows Home".