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