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Provenance

Purchased at an unidentified London sale by (James P. Labey, New York); (sale, Silo's, New York, 19-20 April 1929, second day, no. 342, as by Wright); Chester Dale [1883-1962], New York; bequest 1963 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1937
American Paintings from the Chester Dale Collection, Union League Club, New York, 1937, no. 8, as The Tragic Indian by Joseph Wright.
1940
Masterpieces of Art. European & American Paintings 1500-1900, New York's World Fair, 1940, no. 292.
1944
John Trumbull and his Contemporaries, Lyman Allyn Museum, New London, Connecticut, 1944, no. 142, as The Tragic Indian by Joseph Wright.
1954
Long term loan, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1954-1958.
1960
Joseph Wright of Derby, 1734-1797, Durlacher Brothers, New York, 1960, no. 21.
Bibliography
1959
Crombie, Theodore. "Wright of Derby's `Indian Widow'." Apollo 69 (1959): 107.
1960
Rosenblum, Robert. "Wright of Derby: Gothick Realist." Art News 59 (1960): 54, fig. 4.
1965
Paintings other than French in the Chester Dale Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 18, repro.
1965
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 140
1968
European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 127, repro.
1970
American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 166, repro.
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 376, repro.
1980
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 310.
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 440, repro.
1992
Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 352-354, repro. 353.
Technical Summary

The medium-weight canvas is fairly coarsely plain woven; it has been lined. The ground is white, of moderate thickness. The painting is executed in thin, fluid, opaque layers, with slight texture in the thicker whites and yellows; the forms are drawn rather than painted, and the application is linear and flat, the modeling being accomplished by a simple juxtaposition of differently valued paints. The painting is in fairly good condition. The paint surface is not abraded, but there is scattered discolored retouching. The moderately thick natural resin varnish has discolored yellow to a moderate degree.