M. H. Spielmann. "Mr. George Frederick Watts, R.A." Magazine of Art 20 (January 1897), p. 208.
Roger Fry. Letter to Sir Purdon Clarke. December 11, 1905 [see Ref. Sutton 1972, vol. 1, pp. 244–45], notes that Dowdeswell is "giving the Watts a thin coat of mastic varnish" at his request.
Roger Fry. Letter to Sir Purdon Clarke. December 1, 1905, calls it "one of a few masterpieces on which his fame [will] ultimately rest" and adds that the artist "repeated the subject more than once and always successfully"; states that it is offered through Dowdeswell for £960 but can probably be had for £800.
Mary Watts. A Ms. Catalogue of the Works of GF Watts OM RA for Limnerslease. after 1905, vol. 1, p. 7, as exhibited in 1894 and owned by J. F. Haworth.
C[harles]. J[ohn]. Holmes. "Three New Pictures for the Metropolitan Museum of New York." Burlington Magazine 8 (February 1906), pp. 346–47, ill., observes that it is "smaller than the famous single seated figure [but] in some ways even more striking in design and colour, while the background is a splendid example of the romantic landscape in which Watts was a true pioneer"; notes that it is among the latest works, mentioning the weak modeling of the knee and the summary treatment of the right hand.
"Principal Accessions by Purchase: November–December 15." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 1 (January 1906), p. 27.
Roger Fry. 1906, lists it among acquisitions in his account of his activities as a purchasing agent for the Museum in 1905.
P[ercy]. M[oore]. Turner. "Pictures of the English School in New York." Burlington Magazine 22 (February 1913), p. 275.
Martin Birnbaum. Letter to Grenville L. Winthrop. June 2, 1939 [see Ref. Bryant 2003, p. 439], while recommending the "noble Ariadne" that Winthrop bought, points out that the Metropolitan Museum "owns a small second rate sketch".
Denys Sutton, ed. Letters of Roger Fry. New York, 1972, vol. 1, pp. 25–26, 245 n. 5 to letter no. 164, publishes Fry's December 1, 1905 letter to Clarke proposing its purchase, and notes that the purchase was favorably received in an editorial in the April 25, 1906 Evening Post.
Hilarie Faberman in The Substance or the Shadow: Images of Victorian Womanhood. Exh. cat., Yale Center for British Art, Yale University. New Haven, 1982, p. 102, no. 104, pl. 51, states that it was begun in the 1860s but not completed until 1894, and is "typical of Watts' practice of painting upon a single picture, or upon variations and replicas of a single design, through successive decades".
John Pope-Hennessy. "Roger Fry and The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Oxford, China, and Italy: Writings in Honour of Sir Harold Acton on his Eightieth Birthday. Ed. Edward Chaney and Neil Ritchie. London, 1984, p. 235.
Barbara Bryant in A Private Passion: 19th-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Harvard University. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2003, p. 439, fig. 195, calls this smaller version "perhaps a recollection," while noting that it has also been referred to as a sketch.
Katharine Baetjer. British Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1575–1875. New York, 2009, pp. 273–74, no. 131, ill. (color).