Vincenzio Fanti. Descrizzione completa di tutto cio che ritrovarsi nella galleria di pittura e scultura di sua altezza Giuseppe Wenceslao del S.R.I. principe regnante della casa di Lichtenstein. Vienna, 1767, p. 98, no. 498, lists in the collection of the Prince of Liechtenstein: "La Carità co' suoi tre Fanciulli, uno che poppa, e l'altro che scherza, e'l terzo che dorme, di Guido Reni. 4 piedi 4 once x 3 piedi 4 once" [Charity with three infants, one that nurses, another that plays, and a third that sleeps, by Guido Reni]
Abbate Luccini. Déscription des tableaux et des pièces de sculpture que renferme la Gallerie de son altesse François Joseph de Liechtenstein. Vienna, 1780, p. 175, no. 581.
G. Parthey. "L–Z." Deutscher Bildersaal. 2, Berlin, 1864, p. 350, no. 141.
G. F. Waagen. Die vornehmsten Kunstdenkmäler in Wien. part 1, Vienna, 1866, p. 261, lists a "Caritas" by Guido Reni in the collection of Prince Liechtenstein, adding that the green tone of the mother, the greenish tone of the one child and the rosy tone of the others, and the exuberance of the figures, are all indicative of the master's later, less accomplished period.
Jakob von Falke. Katalog der Fürstlich Liechtensteinischen Bildergallerie im Gartenpalais der Rossau zu Wien. Vienna, 1873, p. 9, no. 62.
Elizabeth Henschel-Simon. Die Gemälde und Skulpturen in der Bildergalerie von Sanssouci. Berlin, 1930, p. 25, identifies the "Caritas" attributed to Reni in the picture gallery at Sanssouci, Potsdam (no. 78), as a replica of our picture
Ann Sutherland Harris. "Florentine Sunset." Art News 68 (1969), p. 61.
D. Stephen Pepper. "A Rediscovered Painting by Guido Reni." Apollo 90 (September 1969), pp. 208–13, ill. (color, overall and details), credits Charles Sterling and, subsequently, Anthony Clark, with the reattribution of the picture to Guido Reni; on stylistic grounds, dates the picture to about 1628–30, and sees a clue to its dating the the color, used "to differentiate between the child who is still hungry and the others whose appetites have been assuaged"; notes that its provenance can only be traced back to the eighteenth century.
Edi Baccheschi in L'opera completa di Guido Reni. Milan, 1971, p. 89, no. 35b, ill., proposes a date of around 1630; observes that there is no documentary evidence to support the identification of the picture with the "famous Charity formerly owned by the Bolognetti family" seen by Malvasia at the Palazzo Barberini, Rome [see Malvasia, The Life of Guido Reni, english ed. 1980, p.149]; identifies the "Charity" in a private collection in Milan, previously thought to be the original, as a copy after Reni
Catherine Johnston. Il seicento e il settecento a Bologna. Milan, 1971, p. 83, connects the study of a sleeping baby by Reni at the Teylers Museum, Haarlem, with the Wrightsman picture; dates both the drawing and the painting towards the end of the 1620s.
Everett Fahy in "Paintings, Drawings." The Wrightsman Collection. 5, [New York], 1973, pp. 170–80, no. 19, ill. (overall in color and details), dates the picture about 1630, calling it an "Allegory of Charity"; suggests the painting was purchased in Italy around 1630 by Prince Karl Eusebio von Liechtenstein, who travelled extensively between 1629 and 1631, gathering the nucleus of his collection; relates Reni's picture to a local Bolognese convention of half- and three-quarter length views of Charity looking to one side; considers it unlikely that the different complexions of the three children have symbolic meaning, as Reni habitually varied the flesh colors in his paintings
Anthony M. Clark in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1965–1975. New York, 1975, p. 96, ill., observes that the figure of Charity wears a rose red dress to recall Christ's sacrificial blood.
Götz Eckardt. Die Gemälde in der Bildergalerie von Sanssouci. Potsdam, 1975, pp. 55–56, ill.
Howard Hibbard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1980, p. 295, fig. 531 (color).
Veronika Birke. Guido Reni, Zeichnungen. Exh. cat., Graphische Sammlung Albertina. Vienna, 1981, pp. 140–42, ill., calls the Tylers Museum drawing a study for our picture, which she places probably several years later, about 1630.
D. Stephen Pepper. Guido Reni: A Complete Catalogue of his Works with an Introductory Text. New York, 1984, pp. 31, 261, no. 124, pl. 151.
Ursula Schlegel. "Bernini und Guido Reni." Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen 27 (1985), p. 141.
D. Stephen Pepper in The Age of Correggio and the Carracci: Emilian Painting of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Exh. cat.Washington, 1986, p. 514.
Marìa-Elisabeth Brunnbauer in Guido Reni und Europa: Ruhm und Nachruhm. Exh. cat., Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. Frankfurt, 1988, p. 468, publishes the engraving after this painting by the British printmaker John Keyse Sherwin (finished by J. Parker).
Robert B. Simon with Frank Dabell in Important Old Master Paintings: Devotion and Delight. Exh. cat., Piero Corsini, Inc. New York, Fall 1989, pp. 84–85, ill.
Anthony Colantuono. Guido Reni's "Abduction of Helen": The Politics and Rhetoric of Painting in Seventeenth-Century Europe. Cambridge, 1997, pp. 8–9, ill., suggests that the stern look given by Charity to the robust infant who points to her breast, as if to demand more, serves to express a subtle moral conceit: that charity must be not only generous but equitable
Richard E. Spear. The "Divine" Guido: Religion, Sex, Money and Art in the World of Guido Reni. New Haven, 1997, p. 231, ill. (detail).
Keith Christiansen. "Going for Baroque: Bringing 17th-Century Masters to the Met." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 62 (Winter 2005), pp. 30, 32, fig. 27 (color).
Everett Fahy in The Wrightsman Pictures. New York, 2005, pp. 45–49, no. 12, ill. (color), lists six copies after this composition.
Keith Christiansen in Philippe de Montebello and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1977–2008. New York, 2009, p. 37.