The Virgin in a Rose Garden—with the figure sometimes shown crowned—was one of the favorite courtly themes of late Gothic painting. The picture's style reflects Provost's training with the manuscript illuminator Simon Marmion in Valenciennes.
Prince Leopold Friedrich Franz von Anhalt–Dessau, Gotisches Haus, Wörlitz (until d. 1817); Friederich I, Duke of Anhalt, Gotisches Haus, Wörlitz (by 1863–d. 1904); Friedrich II, Duke of Anhalt, Gothisches Haus, Wörlitz; until 1915, moved to Ducal Palace, Dessau (1904–1927; sold privately, art market, Berlin); Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Lehman, New York (by 1929–d. 1936); Mrs. Arthur Lehman, New York (1936–d. 1965); [M. Knoedler, New York, 1965–66; sold on February 1, 1966 for $66,300 to Payson]; Joan Whitney Payson, New York and Manhasset (1966–d. 1975)
Bruges. Palais du Gouvernement. "Exposition des primitifs flamands et d'art ancien," June 15–September 15, 1902, no. 92 (as by Jan van Eyck, lent by the Duke of Anhalt, Wörlitz).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "From Van Eyck to Bruegel: Early Netherlandish Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 22, 1998–February 21, 1999, no. 18.
G. Parthey. Deutscher Bildersaal. Vol. 1, A–K. Berlin, 1863, p. 415, no. 17, lists this picture with the works of Jan van Eyck and locates it in Gotisches Haus, Wörlitz.
Wilhelm Hosäus. Wörlitz: Ein Handbuch für die Besucher des Wörlitzer Gartens und der Wörlitzer Kunstsammlungen. Dessau, 1883, p. 40, no. 1325, lists it as by Jan van Eyck, in the duke's bedroom [see Ref. Virch 1965].
Franz Dülberg. "Altholland in Wörlitz." Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst, n.s., 10 (1898–99), p. 275, ill., as in the manner of Geertgen tot Sint Jans by a somewhat older contemporary of Engebrechtsz.
Georges H. de Loo Palais du Gouvernement, Bruges. Exposition de tableaux flamands des XIVe, XVe et XVIe siècles: catalogue critique précédé d'une introduction sur l'identité de certains maîtres anonymes. Ghent, 1902, p. 22, no. 98, catalogues it as by an unknown artist active in the first half of the 16th century and suggests that it may be a youthful work of Jan van Eeckele.
Alfred von Wurzbach. Niederländisches Künstler-Lexikon. Vol. 1, Vienna, 1906, p. 481, as ascribed to Jan van Eeckle.
Max J. Friedländer. Die altniederländische Malerei. Vol. 9, Joos van Cleve, Jan Provost, Joachim Patenier. Berlin, 1931, pp. 86, 149, no. 165, pl. 75, ascribes it to Jan Provost, noting that it appears to be an early work.
M. J. Friedländer inAllgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. Ed. Hans Vollmer. Vol. 27, Leipzig, 1933, p. 429.
Grete Ring. "Additions to the work of Jan Provost and Quentin Massys—I." Burlington Magazine 79 (November 1941), p. 160, places it in Provost's early years, before 1500, and tentatively suggests that it was part of a series of scenes from the life of the Virgin, five of which she publishes and illustrates.
Friedrich Winkler. Das Werk des Hugo van der Goes. Berlin, 1964, p. 172, fig. 132, believes that our panel, the central panel of the altarpiece by the Master of Evora [Museu Regional, Evora, Portugal], and a panel of the Virgin Enthroned by the Master of 1499 (Virignia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond) are all based on the same lost work by Hugo; sees a common source in the suspended angels in these works and in the group of angels represented in Cofferman's Adoration of the Shepherds (MMA 17.190.3).
Claus Virch. The Adele and Arthur Lehman Collection. New York, 1965, pp. 36–37, ill.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. European Art in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: A Catalogue. Richmond, 1966, p. 26.
Max J. Friedländer et al. Early Netherlandish Painting. Vol. 9, part 2, Joos van Cleve, Jan Provost, Joachim Patenier. New York, 1973, pp. 90–91, 115, no. 165, pl. 177.
E. Bénézit. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs. new ed. Paris, 1976, vol. 8, p. 508.
Katharine Baetjer. "Pleasures and Problems of Early French Painting." Apollo 106 (November 1977), pp.342, 345, 349 n. 9, fig. 5, sees the influence of Marmion and believes the picture ultimately depends on an Eyckian composition.
Véronique Sintobin inFrom Van Eyck to Bruegel: Early Netherlandish Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Maryan W. Ainsworth and Keith Christiansen. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1998, pp. 134–36, no. 18, ill. (color), dates it about 1495–1500.
Reindert L. Falkenburg. "The Household of the Soul: Conformity in the 'Merode Triptych'." Early Netherlandish Painting at the Crossroads: A Critical Look at Current Methodologies. Ed. Maryan W. Ainsworth. New York, 2001, pp. 9, 11, fig. 2.