Watermark: Crown floating above a fleur-de-lis, over letters "GA".
Inscribed in graphite along right edge "41", which corresponds to the page numbering in the Harvard volume.
This loose, angular drawing is a sheet from a dismembered sketchbook that dates from Fragonard's first Italian sojourn, ca. 1759-61. The so-called "sketchbook” emerged in 1932 when it was published by George S. Hellman, who had obtained it from Fragonard's heirs. It was subsequently dismembered in the 1960s by a trio of dealers and then partially reassembled when thirty bound sheets entered the collection of the Fogg Art Museum/Harvard University Art Museums collection in 1968 (inv. 1968.42:1-30). Like the present sheet, the Harvard sketches are swift and summary. Here the artist has recorded a familiar rustic theme: a young woman, her facial features denoted by abbreviated dots, rides a laden donkey.
Goddard, Paulette, former owner.
Thayer, John M. (John MacLane), 1944-2004, former owner.