Pierre-Auguste Cot (French, 1837–1883)
Oil on canvas
92 1/4 x 61 3/4 in. (234.3 x 156.8 cm)
Signed and dated (lower left): P+A+COT+1880
Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Bequest of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, 1887 (87.15.134)
This painting was commissioned from the artist in 1880 by Catharine Lorillard Wolfe under the guidance of her cousin John Wolfe, one of Cot's principal patrons. When it was exhibited at the Salon that year, critics speculated about the source of the subject. Some suggested the Greek romance Daphnis and Chloe by Longus (ca. 200 A.D.) and others, the romantic tale Paul et Virginie by Bernardin de Saint-Pierre (1737–1814).