F.-G. Pariset. "Deux oeuvres inédites de Baldung Grien." Gazette des beaux-arts, 6th ser., 11 (1934), pp. 13–14, 21–23, fig. 3, dates this picture and the Saint Anne with the Christ Child, the Virgin, and Saint John the Baptist (National Gallery of Art, Washington) to 1511–12; notes that Dr. Wimpfen bought both panels from a village church in Alsace and observes that they must have been the wings of a small altarpiece; states that Baldung only depicted the theme of Saint John on Patmos in two other examples: a woodcut published in Strasbourg, 1516, and in the righthand panel of the Schnewlin altarpiece (1513–15; Fribourg-en-Brisgau Cathedral) [see Ref. Osten 1983, no. W97, who attributes the Schnewlin altarpiece to Baldung's workshop between 1515–16].
Otto Fischer. Hans Baldung Grien. Munich, 1939, pp. 9, 20, dates this picture and the National Gallery panel about 1510.
F.-G. Pariset. "L'Art et l'humanisme en Alsace." Revue d'Alsace 90 (1939), p. 19 n. 3, states that the Baldung woodcut depicting a similarly calm Saint John the Evangelist was published in 1512 [1513; see Notes], between the execution of our panel and the Schnewlin altarpiece [of 1515].
Helmut Perseke. Hans Baldungs Schaffen in Freiburg. Freiburg, 1941, pp. 49, 66–67, fig. 9.
Carl Koch. "Katalog der erhaltenen Gemälde, der Einblattholzschnitte und illustrierten Bücher von Hans Baldung-Grien." Kunstchronik 6 (November 1953), p. 297, dates this picture, the National Gallery panel, and the Mass of Saint Gregory (Cleveland Museum of Art) to 1511.
Carl Koch. Letter. June 26, 1957, notes that the Mass of Saint Gregory (Cleveland Museum of Art) was without doubt painted for the Order of Saint John in Strasbourg; surmises that the MMA and National Gallery panels were also painted for this order and dates them about 1511.
Carl Koch. Letter to Cleveland Museum of Art. May 24, 1958, reiterates that the three panels were painted for the Order of Saint John in Strasbourg, in 1511 [see Ref. Koch 1957].
Hans Möhle. "Hans Baldung Grien: Zur Karlsruher Baldung-Ausstellung Sommer 1959." Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 22, no. 2 (1959), p. 128, notes that Baldung later revisited the theme of Saint John on Patmos in the Schnewlin altarpiece, after he had come into contact with Grünewald.
Werner Zimmermann in Hans Baldung Grien. Exh. cat., Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe. Karlsruhe, 1959, pp. 42, 346, no. 15, pl. 7, suggests that the MMA and National Gallery panels were probably the wings of a carved shrine, and does not connect them with the Cleveland panel (no. 16); publishes Baldung's related woodcut for the title page of "P. Terentius poeta comicus in sua metra restitutus," Strasbourg, 1513.
G. Tolzien in Kindlers Malerei Lexikon. 1, Zürich, 1964, p. 185, calls the MMA and National Gallery panels probably the wings of a carved shrine, dating them about 1511, along with the Cleveland picture
Rolf Fritz. "Gemälde Alter Meister." Sammlung Becker. 1, Dortmund, 1967, no. 1, ill. n.p. (color), dates our panel about 1511.
Colin Eisler. "European Schools Excluding Italian." Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. 4, London, 1977, pp. 29–30, fig. 8, calls this painting a pendant to the National Gallery panel and considers it likely that they were both commissioned by the Order of Saint John, along with the Cleveland panel, observing that all three "could have been incorporated in some common format".
Gert von der Osten. "Ein Altar des Hans Baldung Grien aus dem Jahre 1511—und eine Frage nach verschollenen Werken des Malers." Zeitschrift des deutschen Vereins für Kunstwissenschaft 31 (1977), pp. 51–53, 58–61, figs. 5, 7–8 (overall, detail, and photographic assemblage of the triptych), publishes excerpts from a 1741 inventory of the treasures of the Order of Saint John in Grünen Wörth, in which a Mass of Saint Gregory, a Saint John on Patmos, and a Saint Anne with the Christ Child, the Virgin and Saint John the Baptist are listed consecutively (nos. 24–26) as panels hanging in the sacristy of the order house; identifies these pictures as the Cleveland, MMA, and National Gallery panels and concludes that they were originally created as a nonfolding triptych, but dismembered sometime during the relocation of the order during the 17th century; also connects these paintings with two entries dated 1510–11 from the order's account books in which payments totaling 24 gulden were made to Hans Baldung "fur altar," and notes that though this wording can be interpreted as an antependium or altar frontal, it is most likely an abbreviation for the painting of an altarpiece.
Max Hasse. Letter to Gert von der Osten. May 13, 1978 [cited in Ref. Osten 1983, p. 72], based on his understanding of the expression "fur altar" used in the Order of Saint John account books [see Ref. Osten 1977], suggests that the three panels formed an antependium, or altar frontal, with fixed side panels.
W. Hugelshofer. Letter to Gert von der Osten. June 1978 [cited in Ref. Osten 1983, p. 74], on stylistic grounds, proposes that the two Saint John panels were painted several years before the one in Cleveland and did not belong to the same altarpiece.
François-Georges Pariset. "Réflexions à propos de Hans Baldung Grien." Gazette des beaux-arts, 6th ser., 94 (1979), p. 2, accepts von der Osten's reconstruction of the altarpiece [see Ref. Osten 1977].
Jean Kubota Cassill in "European Paintings of the 16th, 17th, and 18th Centuries." Cleveland Museum of Art: Catalogue of Paintings. part 3, Cleveland, 1982, pp. 161–62, calls the MMA and National Gallery panels "stylistically consistent" with the Cleveland painting.
Gert von der Osten. Hans Baldung Grien: Gemälde und Dokumente. Berlin, 1983, pp. 66–69, 72–74, no. 12b, pp. 257–58, pls. 33, 36 (overall and detail), calls the MMA and National Gallery panels "Two Wings of an Altar (?)" and suggests the panels' small size indicates they were located on the altar of a sacristy or private chapel; cites the opinions of Hasse and Hugelshofer [see Refs. 1978] and is open to the possibility that the three panels served as an altar frontal as Hasse suggests.
"Private Line: Cheap at Twice the Price." Connoisseur 214 (August 1984), p. 117, discusses the picture's recent provenance and sale.
John Russell. "Art: Small Met Show Highlights Acquisitions." New York Times (May 25, 1984), p. C21.
Mary Sprinson de Jesús in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1983–1984. New York, 1984, pp. 3, 64, ill. cover (color) and p. 64, notes that the acquisition of this painting addresses the lack of early 16th century German religious painting in the MMA collection; calls it "almost perfectly preserved" and comments that "the composition seems to have been highly regarded by both the artist and his patrons, since some years later it was adapted by a member of Baldung's workshop" in the Schnewlin altarpiece.
J[ohann]. E[ckart]. von Borries. "Hans Baldung Grien: Gemälde und Dokumente, by Gert von der Osten." Burlington Magazine 127 (February 1985), pp. 97–98, sees a "decisive contribution by Baldung" in the wings of the Schnewlin altarpiece, particularly in the depiction of Saint John on Patmos, noting that its expressive power "far surpasses" that of the MMA panel.
Guy Bauman in Gothic and Renaissance Art in Nuremberg, 1300–1550. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1986, pp. 375–79, no. 179b, ill. p. 376 (photographic assemblage of the triptych), p. 378 (color) [German ed., 1986], considers it likely that the panels formed a small triptych with stationary wings, which explains why the backs of the wings were not painted; discusses the iconographic unity of the three panels in their depiction of the three mysteries of Christian theology.
Introduction by James Snyder in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Renaissance in the North. New York, 1987, pp. 15, 102, pl. 70 (color).
Christian Heck. "Baldung Grien's Grünen Wörth Altarpiece and Devotion to the Two St. Johns." Metropolitan Museum Journal 27 (1992), pp. 85–86, 91–92, 96–97, fig. 1 (photographic assemblage of the triptych), fig. 4, discusses the importance of the theme of the two Saint Johns in the art and religious life of the Rhine Valley and its special significance to Rulman Merswin, founder of the commandery of Grünen Wörth; notes that the subject of the two Saint Johns recurs in works of art known to have decorated the monastery; observes that in 1378 the church of the commandery was explicitly dedicated to the two Saint Johns, but agrees with van der Osten [Ref. 1983] that the small size of the Baldung altarpiece make it improbable that it was placed on the altar of a church; believes it was most likely placed on the altar of a sacristy or a private chapel within the commandery
John Oliver Hand. German Paintings of the Fifteenth through Seventeenth Centuries. Washington, 1993, pp. 15–16, 18–19, figs. 4, 5 (photographic assemblage of the triptych), confirms date of around 1511 for all three panels and provides detailed provenance and iconographic summary; notes that infrared reflectography revealed homogeneous underdrawing in all three pictures and comments that "this particular combination of scenes is apparently unique" in its illustration of Christ's incarnation, sacrifice, and second coming.
Sibylle Gross in Hans Baldung Grien in Freiburg. Exh. cat., Augustinermuseum. Freiburg, 2001, p. 309, discusses the MMA and National Gallery panels as prototypes for the execution of the Schnewlin altarpiece by Baldung's workshop.
Burton L. Dunbar. The Collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: German and Netherlandish Paintings, 1450–1600. Kansas City, Mo., 2005, p. 63.
Keith Christiansen in Philippe de Montebello and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1977–2008. New York, 2009, p. 36.
Maryan W. Ainsworth in German Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1350–1600. New Haven, 2013, pp. 20–25, 280–81, no. 2, ill. (color) and figs. 18 (altarpiece reconstruction), 22 (color detail), 24–25 (infrared reflectogram details).
Karen E. Thomas in German Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1350–1600. New Haven, 2013, p. 11.