the artist, Paris (until 1837; possibly sold for Fr 1,200 to baron Charles Rivet; lottery, Lyons, 1837 or 1838, possibly won by Paturle); Monsieur Paturle (until 1872; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, February 28, 1872, no. 7, for Fr 19,000 to Febvre); [Alexis Joseph Febvre, Paris, from 1872]; Charles Sedelmeyer, Paris (until 1877; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 30, 1877, no. 25, for Fr 7,100); Paul Demidoff, principe di San Donato, Florence and St. Petersburg (in 1878); Monsieur Perreau (until 1881; sold on October 24, for Fr 6,000, to Goupil); [Goupil & Cie, Paris, 1881–87; stock no. 15678; their sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 25, 1887, no. 44, for Fr 5,000 to Escribe for Boussod, Valadon, probably bought in and sold for the same price to Guillot]; Edmond Guillot, Paris (until 1888; sold on December 31 for Fr 6,500 to Boussod, Valadon); [Boussod, Valadon & Cie, Paris, 1888; stock no. 19615, sold on December 31, for Fr 8,400, to Michel]; F. Michel (from 1888); Philippe George, Aÿ, France (until 1891; his sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, June 2, 1891, no. 17, for Fr 15,600); his widow, Mme Philippe George (until 1898; sold on May 16 to Durand-Ruel); [Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1898–99; stock no. 4666; sold on January 26, 1899 to Bernheim-Jeune]; [Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, from 1899]; Monsieur Bessonneau, Angers (by 1916); his son-in-law(?), Monsieur Frappier (by 1923); Mme Frappier (by 1923–at least 1930); sale, former collection Bessonneau d'Angers, Galerie Charpentier, Paris, June 15, 1954, no. 31, for Fr 3,700,000 to Reid & Lefevre; [Reid & Lefevre, London, 1954–at least 1956]; Lord and Lady Walston, Thriplow, Cambridge (by 1959–89; on loan to National Gallery, London, April 1988–May 1989; sale, Christie's, New York, November 14, 1989, no. 31, to MMA)
Eugène Delacroix. Journal entry. October 5, 1822 [Bibliothèque de l'Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art, collections Jacques Doucet, Paris, ms. 247; published in Joubin 1932, vol. 1, p. 15; Hannoosh 2009, vol. 1, p. 88], describes the prospective subject of this painting: "Une jeune Canadienne traversant le désert avec son époux est prise des douleurs de l'enfantement et accouche; le père prend dans ses bras le nouveau-né".
Eugène Delacroix. Journal entry. December 22 or 23, 1823 [Bibliothèque de l'Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art, collections Jacques Doucet, Paris, ms. 247; published in Joubin 1932, vol. 1, p. 39; Hannoosh 2009, vol. 1, p. 109], writes that his is working on this painting, calling it "mes sauvages".
"Salon de 1835 (IIIe article). Les peintres et les poètes." L'Artiste 9 (1835), p. 90.
G[uyot]. de F[ère]. Journal spécial des lettres et des beaux-arts 1 (1835), p. 204 [see Refs. Tourneux 1886 and Johnson 1981].
Critique du Salon de 1835, par une société d'artistes et d'hommes de lettres. 2nd ed. Paris, , p. 13, criticizes it generally but finds merit in the female figure.
W. Le réformateur (March 15, 1835) [see Ref. Johnson 1981].
A[mbroise]. T[ardieu]. Le courrier français (March 30, 1835) [see Refs. Tourneux 1886 and Johnson 1981].
Charles Lenormant. "De l'école française en 1835: Salon annuel." Revue des deux mondes, 4th ser., 2 (April 1, 1835), p. 197 [reprinted in Lenormant, "Beaux-arts et voyages," Paris, 1861, p. 123].
V[ictor]. Schoelcher. "Salon de 1835. Deuxième article." Revue de Paris 16 (April 5, 1835), pp. 58–59.
E. S. La tribune politique et littéraire (April 6, 1835) [see Refs. Tourneux 1886 and Johnson 1981].
F. P. Moniteur universel (April 13, 1835) [see Ref. Johnson 1981].
A. "Salon de 1835." Le Constitutionnel (April 26, 1835), p. 1.
L[ouis]. P[eiss]e. Le Temps (April 30, 1835) [see Refs. Tourneux 1886 and Johnson 1981].
Eugène Delacroix. Letter to Thoré. January 18, 1836 [published in A. Joubin, ed. "Correspondance générale d'Eugène Delacroix," vol. 1, 1935, p. 409], lists this work as having been exhibited in 1835, and describes the subject, noting that it comes from Chateaubriand's "Atala".
"Variétés." L'Artiste 12 ([summer] 1836), p. 24.
"Variétés." L'Artiste 14 (1837), p. 212.
[Étienne-Joseph-] T[héophile]. Thoré. "Artistes contemporains. M. Eugène Delacroix (Suite)." Le Siècle (February 25, 1837), p. 2.
Eugène Delacroix. Letter to baron Charles Rivet. February 15, 1838 [published in Ref. Joubin 1936, p. 3–4], refers briefly to a painting which Joubin [see Ref. 1936] identifies as this work.
Eugène Delacroix. Journal entry. [ca. 1844–47] ["Carnet héliotrope," Bibliothèque de l'Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art, collections Jacques Doucet, Paris, ms. 246 bis, fol. 14v; published in Joubin 1932, vol. 3, p. 375; Hannoosh 2009, vol. 2, p. 1544], calls it "Les Natchez" and dates it 1835.
Théophile Silvestre. Delacroix. Paris, 1855, p. 80, lists it as "Femme qui vient d'accoucher dans un désert (Châteaubriand, Natchez [sic])".
Arnould de Vienne. "La Galerie de M. Paturle." L'Artiste, 6th ser., 2 (1856), p. 76.
[Achille Piron]. Eugène Delacroix: sa vie et ses oeuvres. Paris, 1865, p. 107, lists it under the year 1835, as in the collection of Mme Paturle.
Adolphe Moreau. E. Delacroix et son œuvre. Paris, 1873, pp. 160, 175–76, 252, states that Delacroix was forced to stop work on this picture in order to complete the "Massacre at Chios" (Musée du Louvre, Paris) in time for the 1824 Salon; gives early provenance information.
Émile Bergerat. Etude sur les collections Sedelmeyer, San Donato et San Martino. n.d., pp. XIII–XIV.
Philippe Burty, ed. Lettres de Eugène Delacroix. rev., enl. ed. Paris, 1880, vol. 1, pp. 222–23 [see Ref. Johnson 1981].
Alfred Robaut. L'œuvre complet de Eugène Delacroix. Paris, 1885, pp. 29, 35, 398, no. 108, ill. (engraving), claims that this picture was already well advanced by 1824 when Delacroix interrupted his work on it in order to devote himself to the "Massacre at Chios"; gives early provenance information [Robaut's personal, annotated copy, now in the Cabinet des Estampes, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, incorrectly indentifies the two figures as Chactas and Atala; gives further provenance information; see Ref. Johnson 1986].
Henry Houssaye. "L'exposition des oeuvres d'Eugène Delacroix à l'ecole des beaux-arts." Revue des deux mondes, 3me. pér., 68 (April 1, 1885), p. 668, incorrectly identifies the couple as Chactas and Atala.
Exposition Eugène Delacroix. Exh. cat., École nationale des beaux-arts. Paris, 1885, p. 39, no. 32, dates it 1824.
Maurice Tourneux. Eugène Delacroix devant ses contemporains. Paris, 1886, pp. 61–63, cites exhibition reviews from the 1835 Salon.
Étienne Moreau-Nélaton. Delacroix raconté par lui-même. Paris, 1916, vol. 1, pp. 154, 163, fig. 121, states that Delacroix kept this picture until sending it to Lyons to be included in the lottery organized by Charles Rivet.
Julius Meier-Graefe. Eugène Delacroix: Beiträge zu einer Analyse. Munich, 1922, ill. p. 99, dates it 1824.
Raymond Escholier. Delacroix: peintre, graveur, écrivain. Vol. 1, Paris, 1926, ill. p. 131.
Louis Hourticq. Delacroix: L'œuvre du maître. Paris, 1930, pp. 183, 191, ill. p. 7, as in the Frappier collection; dates it 1824.
André Joubin. Journal de Eugène Delacroix. Paris, 1932, vol. 1, p. 15 n. 2; vol. 3, p. 375 n. 6, pp. 521, 523, publishes Delacroix's related journal entries; calls the October 5, 1822 reference to this subject the artist's "première idée" for the painting; dates the list in which he included it to 1843 [see Delacroix n.d. (ca. 1844–47)].
André Joubin. Correspondance générale d'Eugène Delacroix. Vol. 2, Paris, 1936, pp. 3–4 n. 5, identifies as this work a painting which Delacroix mentions in a letter to Charles Rivet of 1838 [see Ref. Delacroix 1838], adding that baron Rivet had arranged for the picture to be bought from Delacroix in 1838 for Fr 1,200 for inclusion in a lottery, where it was won by a M. Paturle.
Maurice Sérullaz. Musée du Louvre, Eugène Delacroix: Dessins, aquarelles et lavis. , p. 44, under no. 68, incorrectly states that this theme is taken from Chateaubriand's novel "Les Natchez"; dates the painting 1835.
Maurice Monda. "A la Galerie Charpentier: Une vente de tableaux produit 104 millions." Le Figaro (June 16, 1954), p. ?, ill., lists the picture as having been sold for Fr 3,700,000 at the Bessonneau d'Angers auction the previous day.
Art News Annual 24 (1955), ill. p. 14 [also published as Art News 53, part 2 (November 1954)], as an advertisement for the Lefevre Gallery, London; dates it 1824.
Lee Johnson. "Delacroix at the Biennale." Burlington Magazine 98 (September 1956), p. 327, discusses the dating of the picture, deciding that Delacroix probably completed it shortly after the "Massacre at Chios", and sent it to the 1835 Salon with only minor revisions.
Lee Johnson. "The Early Drawings of Delacroix." Burlington Magazine 98 (January 1956), p. 23, corrects Sérullaz's statement [see Ref. 1952] that this theme is taken from Chateaubriand's novel "Les Natchez," but himself notes that Robaut [see Ref. 1885] gives the painting the alternative title of "Chactas and Atala," without questioning this identification of the figures.
Giuseppe Marchiori. Delacroix alla Biennale. Venice, 1956, p. 41, no. 4, as belonging to the Lefevre Gallery, London; dates it 1824.
M. Monteverdi. "Gli equivoci della XXVIII Biennale di Venezia." Arte figurativa (July–August 1956), no. 4, ill. [see Christie's sale catalogue, 1989].
René Huyghe. Delacroix. New York, 1963, pp. 187, 282, 302, pl. 216 (detail), as in the Lord Walston collection, Cambridge; dates it 1824.
Maurice Sérullaz. Mémorial de l'Exposition Eugène Delacroix. Exh. cat., Musée du Louvre. Paris, 1963, pp. 163–65, no. 217, ill., as in the Walston collection, Cambridge; cites the passage from the epilogue of "Atala" which inspired this picture; gives extensive provenance information; includes quotes from two reviews of the 1835 Salon [see Refs. Fère 1835 and P. 1835].
Louis Hautecœur. Littérature et peinture en France du XVIIe au XXe siècle. Paris, 1963, p. 35.
Lee Johnson. Delacroix. 1963, pp. 6, 120, pl. 6, as in the Walston collection, Cambridge; states that it was begun in 1823, and gives the epilogue of Chateaubriand's novel "Atala" as the source.
Lee Johnson. Delacroix. Exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts. London, 1964, pp. 11, 17, 43, no. 7, pl. 5, dates it 1823–?35.
Maurice Sérullaz. "A Comment on the Delacroix Exhibition organized in England." Burlington Magazine 107 (July 1965), p. 366, adds to the provenance and exhibition history.
Lee Johnson. "Eugène Delacroix et les Salons." Revue du Louvre et des musées de France 16, nos. 4 and 5 (1966), p. 223.
Phoebe Pool. Delacroix. London, 1969, pp. 11, 28, colorpl. 7, finds the landscape in this picture somewhat like those of Constable; believes the figures to be among the best in Delacroix's early work; states that "although most of the picture was probably executed in the early 1820s, there may have been some re-working before it was first shown in the Salon of 1835".
Frank Anderson Trapp. The Attainment of Delacroix. Baltimore, , p. 194 n. 33.
Luigina Rossi Bortolatto. L'opera pittorica completa di Delacroix. Milan, 1972, p. 92, no. 98, ill., dates it 1824.
Hugh Honour. L'Amérique vue par l'Europe. Exh. cat., Grand Palais. Paris, 1976, pp. XXXV, 247, 256–57, calls it one of Delacroix's most poetic works, not just a simple illustration from Chateaubriand but a poignant lament for a dying race; illustrates a preparatory drawing.
David Wakefield. "Chateaubriand's 'Atala' as a Source of Inspiration in Nineteenth-Century Art." Burlington Magazine 120 (January 1978), p. 21, fig. 21, calls it "a minor masterpiece and wholly in sympathy with the mood of the book".
Sara Lichtenstein. Delacroix and Raphael. PhD diss., Courtauld Institute of Art, London. New York, 1979, pp. 93–95, fig. 48, dates it 1823–35; relates the figure of the woman to that of the dead mother on the right of the "Massacre at Chios", and also to the figure of Cleopatra in a print by Agostino Veneziano of the "Death of Cleopatra" (Warburg Institute, London), after a design by a pupil of Raphael; relates the pose of the man to that of the kneeling angel in Raphael's "Baptism of Christ" (Vatican loggia).
Lee Johnson. The Paintings of Eugène Delacroix: A Critical Catalogue. Vol. 1, Oxford, 1981, pp. viii, xxi, 53, 78–80, 90, 244, no. 101, dates it 1823–?1835; states that it has been relined; believes that the picture "was conceived and probably mostly painted during the first half of the 1820s . . . but [that] the flesh passages may have been finished or reworked shortly before the  Salon"; discusses the lottery of 1837 or 1838 in which the picture was included.
Maurice Sérullaz. Delacroix. Paris, 1981, pp. 178–79, no. 35, ill., dates it 1823–35.
Lee Johnson. The Paintings of Eugène Delacroix: A Critical Catalogue. Vol. 2, Oxford, 1981, pl. 88, gives early ownership history and mentions a later variant.
Maurice Sérullaz et al. Musée du Louvre, Cabinet des Dessins, Inventaire général des dessins école française, dessins d'Eugène Delacroix. Paris, 1984, vol. 1, p. 89, under no. 88.
Lee Johnson. The Paintings of Eugène Delacroix: A Critical Catalogue. Vol. 3, Oxford, 1986, pp. xxii, 287.
Günter Metken in Eugène Delacroix. Exh. cat., Kunsthaus Zürich. Zürich, 1987, pp. 80–81, 321, no. 7, ill. (color), dates it 1823, revised in 1835.
The National Gallery Report: January 1988–March 1989 (1989), pp. 21–22, 59, ill. (color), states that the picture was on loan to the National Gallery in London from April 1988 to May 1989.
Gary Tinterow in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1989–1990." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 48 (Fall 1990), pp. 5, 41–42, ill. in color on cover (detail) and p. 42 (overall), believes that Delacroix most probably only laid in the composition with a thin wash in 1823, and actually painted the work in 1834–35; compares the picture's technique to that of the 1834 "Women of Algiers" (Musée du Louvre, Paris).
John Russell. "Delacroix's Masterpiece of a Land He Never Saw." New York Times (September 6, 1990), p. C15, ill.
Patrick Noon. Richard Parkes Bonington: 'On the Pleasure of Painting'. Exh. cat., Yale Center for British Art, Yale University. New Haven, 1991, p. 263, under no. 135, states that Bonington knew the painting in 1827, at the time he executed "An Indian Maid" (Paris, Louvre, inv. 35281).
Lee Johnson et al. Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863): Paintings, Drawings, and Prints from North American Collections. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1991, pp. 7, 28–29, 45, 66, no. 3, ill. (color and black and white), states that "recent inspection in the conservation studio of the Museum has shown [that the picture was] probably executed for the most part shortly before the Salon of 1835".
Everett Fahy. "Selected Acquisitions of European Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987–1991." Burlington Magazine 133 (November 1991), pp. 801, 807, colorpl. XII.
Barthélémy Jobert et al. in Delacroix: la naissance d'un nouveau romantisme. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen. Paris, 1998, pp. 43, 45, 151, 177, no. 52, ill. p. 41 (color).
Barthélémy Jobert. Delacroix. Princeton, 1998, pp. 49, 58, 102–4, fig. 65 (color) [French ed., Paris, 1997, pp. 50, 58, 102, 104, fig. 65 (color)].
Peter Brooks. History Painting and Narrative Delacroix's 'Moments'. Oxford, 1998, pp. 13, 15, fig. 7, discusses the text that accompanied the work in the Salon of 1835, noting that it "makes clear Delacroix's desire that we understand what leads up to this moment, and indeed, why the chosen moment is precisely the one that lends itself to, and calls for, illustration".
Richard Thomson in Theo van Gogh: Marchand de tableaux, collectionneur, frère de Vincent. Exh. cat., Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. Paris, 1999, pp. 71, 75, 78, 200 n. 64, fig. 58 (color).
John F. Moffitt. "The Native American 'Sauvage' as Pictured by French Romantic Artists and Writers." Gazette des beaux-arts 134 (September 1999), pp. 124–26, 129 n. 21, fig. 4, dates it about 1822–23, 1834–35.
Paul Joannides. "Delacroix and Modern Literature." The Cambridge Companion to Delacroix. Ed. Beth S. Wright. Cambridge, 2001, pp. 132, 217 n. 15, notes that Chateaubriand inspired the painting, calling it "sweet, covertly bitter, because the baby, watched by the exhausted mother and held by the proud father, is soon to die".
Lee Johnson. "Fourth Supplement and Reprint of Third Supplement." The Paintings of Eugène Delacroix: A Critical Catalogue. [3rd supplement, 1993]. Oxford, 2002, pp. 323–24, no. 101, adds to the provenance and exhibition history; notes that the picture was cleaned after the MMA acquired it.
Gary Tinterow in The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 36, 211–12, no. 16, ill. (color and black and white).
Dominique Dumas. Salons et expositions à Lyon 1786–1918: Catalogue des exposants et liste de leurs œuvres. Dijon, 2007, vol. 1, p. 407.
Karen Wilkin. "Homage at the Metropolitan." New Criterion 27 (December 2008), p. 6.
Patrick Noon. Richard Parkes Bonington: The Complete Paintings. New Haven, 2008, p. 403, under no. 371.
Barthélémy Jobert in Une passion pour Delacroix: La collection Karen B. Cohen. Exh. cat., Musée National Eugène Delacroix. Paris, 2009, p. 25.
Colta Ives in Une passion pour Delacroix: La collection Karen B. Cohen. Exh. cat., Musée National Eugène Delacroix. Paris, 2009, pp. 30, 34, 161, fig. 11 (color).
Michèle Hannoosh, ed. Eugène Delacroix: Journal. Paris, 2009, vol. 1, pp. 88, 109, 124 n. 69, p. 134 n. 134, vol. 2, p. 1544, publishes Delacroix's related journal entries; calls Delacroix's October 5, 1822 reference to this subject his "première idée" for the painting; states that work on it was still progressing on March 3, 1824; in vol. 2, p. 1540, dates the later list on which the artist included the painting to about 1844–47 [see Delacroix n.d. (ca. 1844–47)].
Amar Arrada in Delacroix (1798–1863): De l'idée à l'expression. Ed. Sébastien Allard. Exh. cat., CaixaForum Madrid. [Madrid], 2011, pp. 194–95, 322, no. 76, ill. (color) [Spanish ed., "Delacroix (1798–1863): De la idea a la expresión].
Robert Houle in Robert Houle's Paris/Ojibwa. Exh. cat., Art Gallery of Peterborough. Peterborough, Canada, 2011, pp. 52–53, ill. (color), notes that Delacroix painted the picture ten years before seeing and drawing members of the Ojibwa tribe.
Kathryn Calley Galitz. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings. New York, 2016, p. 431, no. 331, ill. pp. 342, 431 (color).