Signed, dated, and inscribed at lower left in pencil, "Edgar DeGas / Paris 1861". Originally signed at lower right, now erased. Inscribed by the artist on the verso in pencil, "un passe partout Epais filets 06(?) / papier gris - et un petit filets[sic] / noir apres les filets 06(?) / et ouverture Caret(?) / l'exterieur(?) à 40 - / sur(?) 50 -".
Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Twenty-First Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984-1986. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1989, p. 331-332.
Denison, Cara D. French Master Drawings in the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1993, no. 117, repr.
Paul Valpinçon (1834-1894) was a childhood friend of Degas, and it was Valpinçon's father who introduced the artist to the revered Ingres in 1855. Returning from Italy in 1861, Degas made this double portrait of his old friend and his wife, Marguerite-Claire. It is the earliest of a series of drawings depicting members of the Valpinçon family and their circle. -- Exhibition Label, from "Life Lines: Portrait Drawings from Dürer to Picasso."
Fourchy, Jacques, Mme, (née Hortense Valpinçon), former owner.
Thacher, John S., former owner.