The tighter handling and more careful composition of 'Boy with a Dog' suggest an earlier date than its erstwhile pendant 'Girl with a Gauze Scarf' (Greuze P415). It may have been exhibited in the 1757 Salon under the title 'Le matelot napolitain' ('The Neapolitain Matelot'). Later it entered the collection of Louis XV's mistress, Madame du Barry, and was described in her 1777 sale catalogue as ‘a little boy in a striped coat playing with a dog’. It reappeared in the sale of the notary and collector Charles-Nicholas Duclos Dufresnoy in 1795 described as the picture of a child ‘dressed in the costume of a Matelot’. Schultz engraved the composition in 1779, and many versions attest to its popularity.
Where to see this painting?
The Wallace Collection
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