Jacoby 1992, cat. no. 16, fig. 21, repr.
Given its evident allegorical content this drawing might be a compositional sketch for a book illustration. As Regina Slatkin (Washington and Chicago 1973-74, no. 43, repr.) noted, the woman holding a pen might be the muse of some patron surrounded by the attributes of painting, sculpture, music and scholarship represented by a palette and paint brushes, a globe, a pile of books, a sculptured bust and a winged seraph holding a lyre. Late in his career Boucher executed a number of rapidly conceived works in brown chalk, mostly compositional sketches. In a catalogue of approximately twenty-seven of these works compiled by Beverly Schreiber Jacoby she speculates that this relatively new medium was easy to handle and suitable for compositional studies. This is borne out by the absence of any elaborately worked drawings by the artist in the medium.
Duval le Camus, J. A., 1814-1878, former owner.
Slatkin, Charles E. (Charles Eli), 1907-1977, former owner.
Shoolman, Regina, 1909-1999, donor.