The picture, which dates from the 1520s, has been cut down at the left and originally included a seated figure of Adam. The whole composition is known from another version painted by Bachiacca in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A pupil of Perugino and a friend of Andrea del Sarto, Bachiacca excelled in small-scale works, frequently adapting the compositions of his greater colleagues. The standing figure of Eve derives from Perugino's Apollo and Marsyas (Louvre, Paris).
The figures are well preserved, but the extreme left side of the picture has been damaged and repainted.
?private collection (in 1805; sale, Christie's, London, June 18, 1805, no. 46, as "Eve with Cain and Abel in Infancy," by Raphael, "from the Buonocorso Palace at Florence", for 24 guineas to Hill, bought in); James E. Hope, Belmont, Edinburgh (until 1929; his estate sale, Christie's, London, December 20, 1929, no. 55, as "Venus and Cupids, in a landscape," by Salviati, for £126 to Sabin); [William Sabin, London, from 1929]; [Ehrich Galleries, New York, in 1932]; [Larsen, London; sold to Locker-Lampson]; Godfrey Locker-Lampson, Rowfant, Sussex, Barlborough Hall, near Chesterfield, and London (until 1937); [Durlacher, London, 1937–38; sold to MMA]
Baltimore Museum of Art. "Bacchiacca and His Friends," January 10–February 19, 1961, no. 2 (as "Charity").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Florentine Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum," June 15–August 15, 1971, no catalogue.
Robert Langton Douglas. A Few Italian Pictures Collected by Godfrey Locker-Lampson. [London], [in or after 1937], p. 10, no. II, ill. opp. p. 10, identifies subject as "Charity"; as from the collection of Mr. Hope, Edinburgh.
Alfred Scharf. "Bacchiacca: A New Contribution." Burlington Magazine 70 (February 1937), p. 65, pl. IID, attributes it to Bacchiacca, and calls it "Charity"; notes that the composition derives from his Adam and Eve in the Johnson Collection in Philadelphia and from Perugino's "Apollo and Marsyas" in the Louvre.
Louise Burroughs. "A Painting By Bacchiacca." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 34 (April 1939), pp. 97–98, ill., attributes it to Bacchiacca; identifies the subject as a "Charity" and says that it was probably painted after the Philadelphia "Adam and Eve" of around 1518.
Roberto Salvini inAllgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. Ed. Hans Vollmer. Vol. 33, Leipzig, 1939, p. 522, attributes it to Bacchiacca; lists it as part of the Locker-Lampson collection.
Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, pp. 67–68, ill., calls it "Charity" and attributes it to Bacchiacca.
Luisa Marcucci inMostra di disegni dei primi manieristi italiani, catalogo. Exh. cat., Galleria degli Uffizi. Florence, 1954, pp. 55–56, under no. 91, observes that the group of trees in the background is apparently borrowed from Albrecht Dürer's engravings, and dates the painting before 1527, calling it a figure of Eve by Bacchiacca.
Josephine L. Allen and Elizabeth E. Gardner. A Concise Catalogue of the European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1954, p. 7, call it "Charity".
Howard S. Merritt inBacchiacca and His Friends. Exh. cat., Baltimore Museum of Art. Baltimore, 1961, pp. 24–25, fig. 9, calls it "Charity"; notes that the child being held comes from Marcantonio Raimondi's engraving after Raphael's "God Appearing to Noah," and that the woman's plaited hair resembles the hair of Leonardo da Vinci's Leda.
Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Florentine School. London, 1963, vol. 1, p. 20, attributes it to Bacchiacca and calls it "Caritas".
Lada Nikolenko. Francesco Ubertini called "Il Bacchiacca". Locust Valley, N.Y., 1966, pp. 12, 43, fig. 25, attributes it to Bacchiacca, calls it "Caritas," and dates it 1520–25; points out that the parrot in the tree derives from Dürer's engraving of Adam and Eve.
Barbara Sweeny. John G. Johnson Collection: Catalogue of Italian Paintings. Philadelphia, 1966, p. 6, under no. 80, calls it "Charity".
Federico Zeri with the assistance of Elizabeth E. Gardner. Italian Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Florentine School. New York, 1971, pp. 193–95, ill., call it a fragment of a larger composition since the left edge has been cut and mention a likeness to Bacchiacca's "Adam and Eve with Cain and Abel" (Johnson Collection, Philadelphia, no. 80); suggest that our painting formerly included a seated figure of Adam; identify it as "Eve with Cain and Abel" and date it probably 1520s.
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 13, 253, 607.
Denys Sutton. "Robert Langton Douglas, Part IV, XVIII: A Fresh Start." Apollo 110 (July 1979), p. 200, fig. 22, calls it "Eve with Cain and Abel".
Charles D. Colbert. "Bacchiacca in the Context of Florentine Art." PhD diss., Harvard University, 1979, p. 61 [see Ref. La France 2002], calls it "Charity".
Robert G. La France. "Francesco d'Ubertino Verdi, il Bachiacca (1494–1557): 'diligente dipintore'." PhD diss., Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 2002, pp. 380–82, no. 35, calls it "[Adam and] Eve with Cain and Abel"; identifies passages in the landscape as derived from Lucas van Leyden's prints of "Prodigal Son" and "Calvary"; dates it to the early to mid 1520s.
Robert G. La France. Bachiacca: Artist of the Medici Court. Florence, 2008, pp. 66–67, 186, no. 41, fig. 14, dates it to the early or mid-1520s and calls it a later version of the Philadelphia picture, which he dates about 1515–18 or slightly later; lists a number of compositional borrowings.