[Antoine Nicolas Dézallier d'Argenville]. Voyage pittoresque des environs de Paris, ou description des maisons royales, châteaux & autres lieux de plaisance, situés à quinze lieues aux environs de cette ville. 2nd ed. Paris, 1762, p. 32, notes two works by Boucher in the "appartement des bains" at the château de Bellevue: "Vénus dans le bain, & Vénus à sa toilette servie par les Amours".
Inventaire de Madame de Pompadour. 1764, no. 1230–78 [published in Jean Cordey, "Inventaire des biens de Madame de Pompadour rédigé après son décès, Paris, 1939, p. 90], in the ground floor vestibule of the Hôtel de Pompadour, Paris, "La Toilette Vénus" and "Vénus qui tient l'Amour"; "sans bordures; valued at 1,400 livres.
Edmond de Goncourt, and Jules de Goncourt. L'art du dix-huitième siècle. 1, 3rd ed. Paris, 1880, p. 191, note that Jean-François Janinet made a colored engraving from it.
André Michel. François Boucher. Paris, 1889, pp. 54–55 n. 1.
L. Soullié in collaboration with Charles Masson in André Michel. Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint et dessiné de François Boucher. Paris, , p. 19, no. 283, describe it as a portrait of Madame de Pompadour in the guise of Venus.
"Four Paintings Lent by Mr. William K. Vanderbilt." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 2 (March 1907), p. 45.
Georges Pannier in Pierre de Nolhac. François Boucher, premier peintre du roi, 1703–1770. Paris, 1907, p. 123, lists it with mythological subjects.
Catalogue of the Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 10th issue. New York, 1909, under Addenda, November 1906 to March 1907, Paintings Lent, in Gallery 19, unpaginated, as "lent by William K. Vanderbilt, 1907".
"The William K. Vanderbilt Bequest." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 15 (December 1920), pp. 268–69, ill.
Pierre de Nolhac. Boucher, premier peintre du roi. Paris, 1925, p. 93.
Bryson Burroughs. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Catalogue of Paintings. 9th ed. New York, 1931, pp. 28–29, no. B66–2.
Paul Biver. Histoire du château de Bellevue. Paris, 1933, pp. 67–68.
Harry B. Wehle in French Painting and Sculpture of the XVIII Century. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1935, p. 7, pl. 30.
Art Treasures of the Metropolitan: A Selection from the European and Asiatic Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1952, p. 230–31, no. 128, colorpl. 128.
Theodore Rousseau Jr. "A Guide to the Picture Galleries." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12, part 2 (January 1954), pp. 5, 36, ill.
Charles Sterling. "XV–XVIII Centuries." The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of French Paintings. 1, Cambridge, Mass., 1955, pp. 136–38, ill., mentions the pendant in the National Gallery of Art, Washington; observes that our picture has been seperated from its original frame, which since 1885 is in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris (no. 573); notes that Boucher treated this subject often, adding that the version closest to ours is the "Toilet of Venus" formerly in the collection of baron Alfred de Rothschild.
Liselotte Andersen. Baroque and Rococo Art. New York, 1969, pp. 180–81, ill., states that despite its mythological subject, the picture has the atmosphere of "salon art".
Calvin Tomkins. Merchants and Masterpieces: The Story of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1970, p. 190 [rev., enl. ed., 1989].
François Boucher: gravures et dessins provenant du Cabinet des Dessins et de la Collection Edmond de Rothschild au Musée du Louvre. Exh. cat., Musée du Louvre. [Paris], 1971, p. 82, under no. 77.
Barbara Scott. "Charles Alexandre de Calonne, Economist and Collector." Apollo 97 (January 1973), p. 88, fig. 5, and ill. in color on cover, as formerly in the Calonne collection.
Anne Hollander. "The Fabric of Vision: The Role of Drapery in Art." Georgia Review 29 (Summer 1975), pp. 446, 465, fig. 10.
Alexandre Ananoff with the collaboration of Daniel Wildenstein. François Boucher. Lausanne, 1976, vol. 2, pp. 78–81, no. 376, fig. 1103, note that our picture and its pendant were executed for Bellevue, completed in 1751, but observe that there is no document to confirm this; confuse our picture with an oval of the same subject painted by Boucher for the palace at Choisy.
Denys Sutton in Paris—New York: A Continuing Romance. Exh. cat., Wildenstein. New York, 1977, pp. 45–46, no. 30, fig. 37.
Pierrette Jean-Richard. L'Œuvre gravé de François Boucher dans la Collection Edmond de Rothschild. Paris, 1978, p. 300, under no. 1225.
Howard Hibbard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1980, p. 364, fig. 669 (color).
Marie-Catherine Sahut in Diderot & l'art de Boucher à David, les Salons: 1759–1781. Exh. cat., Hôtel de la Monnaie. Paris, 1984, pp. 140–42, no. 37, ill.
Alastair Laing in François Boucher, 1703–1770. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1986, pp. 255–58, no. 60, ill in color and on cover [French ed., 1986, pp. 256–58, no. 60, ill. (color)], proposes that there was "an element of self-identification in Madame de Pompadour's commissioning" of this picture and its pendant, the marquise having played the title role in a play called "La Toilette de Venus," at Versailles on February 25, 1750; comments on the peculiar forms of the ewer and perfume burner, which are "à la greque" in the theatrical sense; notes that while it is in no sense an illustration of the stage, the picture seems to take a similar pleasure in its own artifice.
Elise Goodman-Soellner. "Boucher's 'Madame de Pompadour at her toilette'." Simiolus 17, no. 1 (1987), pp. 46, 51.
Masterpieces of Western European Painting of the XVIth–XXth Centuries from the Museums of the European Countries and USA. Exh. cat., State Hermitage Museum. Leningrad [St. Petersburg], 1989, unpaginated, no. 18, ill in color.
Donald Posner. "Mme. de Pompadour as a Patron of the Visual Arts." Art Bulletin 72 (March 1990), p. 77 n. 17.
Kimerly Rorschach in Claude to Corot: The Development of Landscape Painting in France. Exh. cat., Colnaghi. New York, 1990, p. 113.
Colin B. Bailey. The Loves of the Gods: Mythological Painting from Watteau to David. Exh. cat., Kimbell Art Museum. New York, 1992, p. 412.
Corinne Le Bitouzé in Creating French Culture: Treasures from the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Exh. cat., Library of Congress. New Haven, 1995, pp. 328–29.
Ekkehard Mai et al. in Faszination Venus: Bilder einer Göttin von Cranach bis Cabanel. Exh. cat., Wallraf-Richartz-Museum. Cologne, 2000, pp. 153–54, 247, 264, ill. (color and black and white).
Colin Jones. Madame de Pompadour: Images of a Mistress. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 2002, pp. 90–91, 166, no. 13, fig. 56 (color), ill. p. 83 (color detail).
Xavier Salmon in Madame de Pompadour et les arts. Exh. cat., Musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon. Paris, 2002, p. 138, ill. 136 (color detail) [German ed., "Madame de Pompadour: l'art et l'amour," Munich, 2002, p. 106, ill. p. 104 (color detail)].
Humphrey Wine in Madame de Pompadour et les arts. Exh. cat., Musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon. Paris, 2002, pp. 176–77, no. 47, ill. (color) [German ed., "Madame de Pompadour: l'art et l'amour," Munich, 2002, pp. 148–49, no. 47, ill. (color)], suggests that Boucher has ironically draped his Venus in the same diaphanous fabric commonly associated in the eighteenth century with representations of vestal virgins; remarks that the sculpted gilt putto reclining to the left of Venus recalls a similar ornamental carving in Boucher's "Hercules and Omphale" (Pushkin Museum, Moscow).
Mary D. Sheriff. "Boucher's Enchanted Islands." Rethinking Boucher. Los Angeles, 2006, p. 170, ill. p. 171.
Ewa Lajer-Burcharth. "Image Matters: The Case of Boucher." Dialogues in Art History, from Mesopotamian to Modern: Readings for a New Century. Washington, 2009, p. 294, fig. 17 (color).
Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell in Paris: Life & Luxury in the Eighteenth Century. Exh. cat., J. Paul Getty Museum. Los Angeles, 2011, p. 65, fig. 45 (color).