lower right: David Wilkie ft. / 1841.
Frank Bulkeley Smith [1864-1918], Worcester, Massachusetts; (his estate sale, American Art Association, New York, 22-23 April 1920, 2nd day, no. 80, as Camping Gypsies). William R. Timken [1866-1949], New York; by inheritance to his widow, Lillian Guyer Timken [1881-1959], New York; bequest 1960 to NGA.
The medium-weight canvas is finely plain woven; it has been adhered to a wooden panel, probably oak, which is primed with very thin white gesso; the original margins were unevenly cut at the time of the attachment. The ground is white, very thinly applied. The contours of the figures are defined in loose, fluid pencil underdrawing. The painting is executed in fluid layers ranging from thick, opaque paint - with moderate impasto in the highlights - for the draperies, to thin transparent glazes for the background. The faces may have been overpainted, as the details are weak and indistinct; the ground and paint have suffered small losses and abrasion damage along the edges where cut. The thick, perhaps slightly pigmented, natural resin varnish has discolored yellow to a significant degree.
- Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 139, as Camping Gypsies.
- National Gallery of Art. European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. Washington, 1968: 127, repro., as Camping Gypsies.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 376, repro., as Camping Gypsies.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 437, repro., as Camping Gypsies.
- Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 331-332, repro. 331.
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