Georges de la Tour was a 17th century painter whose work lived in obscurity until the 1930’s. He reappeared when the Louvre mounted an exhibition of French 17th century painters. Then his work began to sell for millions. This painting was purchased by the Met in 1960 for an undisclosed ,but ”very large sum of money”. The French were outraged, but like several other de la Tours the Louvre may have considered it a fake. Among the evidence is a claim that the word "MERDE" (French for "shit") could be seen in the lace collar of the young woman second from left. Two members of the Metropolitan curatorial staff accepted that the word was there, regarding it as the work of a recent restorer, and it was then removed in 1982.