Nicolas Lancret painted this subject on a number of occasions: other treatments include an oval in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London and a painting formerly with Frank Sabin, London. Although this is similar in composition, it is unusual in being the only version to include a dog - an attribute of the shepherd. It is also more refined in decorative details such as the shepherd's garlanded crook and the trimming on the young women's draperies. A horizontal painting of this subject, also on panel, appeared in the sale of the Comte de Vence (9 February, 1761, no. 134).
We are grateful to Ms. Mary Tavener Holmes for confirming the attribution to Lancret on the basis of photographs (verbal communication, 18 February 2008).