Gustav Glück. "Zu einem Bilde von Hieronymus Bosch in der Figdorschen Sammlung in Wien." Jahrbuch der Königlich Preuszischen Kunstsammlungen 25 (1904), p. 182, mentions it among recently discovered works by Bosch, in the collection of the late councillor Lippmann.
Walter Cohen in Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. 4, Leipzig, 1910, pp. 387–88, no. 5, as in poor condition but autograph, probably earlier than Bosch's Adoration in the Prado, Madrid; finds it stylistically similar to works of the Master of the Virgin among Virgins.
Max J. Friedländer in Sammlung . . . Friedrich Lippmann. Lepke's, Berlin. November 26–27, 1912, p. 9, notes that one need only compare this picture with the great Adoration in the Prado to realize the correctness of its attribution to Bosch; dates it toward the end of the fifteenth century.
B[ryson]. B[urroughs]. "A Picture by Hieronymus Bosch." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 8 (June 1913), pp. 130–33, ill., notes that "the picture is not named in the catalogue of the artist's works compiled by his historians, but is accepted by Friedländer and other German critics who have long been familiar with it"; adds that the drawing "though extremely sensitive, is not so vigorous as in the well-known examples"; finds the picture stylistically closest to the Prado Adoration; comments in detail on the picture's condition.
Emil Schaeffer. "Due importanti avvenimenti d'arte a Berlino." Rassegna d'arte 13 (March 1913), p. 52, fig. 5, calls it a youthful work of Bosch, but later than the Prado Adoration.
Paul Lafond. Hieronymus Bosch: Son art, son influence, ses disciples. Brussels, 1914, p. 39, ill. following p. 6, as correctly attributed to Bosch.
Max J. Friedländer. Von Eyck bis Bruegel: Studien zur Geschichte der Niederländischen Malerei. Berlin, 1916, p. 74.
Ludwig von Baldass. "Die Chronologie der Gemälde des Hieronymus Bosch." Jahrbuch der Königlich Preuszischen Kunstsammlungen 38 (1917), pp. 177–79, ill., calls it one of Bosch's earliest and most awkward works, and sees progress in the Adoration in Philadelphia, which he believes post-dates it.
Frank Jewett Mather, Jr. "Paintings by Jerome Bosch in America." Art in America 6 (December 1917), pp. 3–4, 7, fig. 1, considers it one of Bosch's earliest works, dating it not later than 1480.
Martin Conway. The Van Eycks and Their Followers. London, 1921, p. 336, as by Bosch; considers it early.
Grete Ring. "Walter Schürmeyer, Hieronymus Bosch." Jahrbuch für Kunstwissenschaft (1923), p. 310, believes that Schürmeyer's doubts about the attribution can be dismissed.
Walter Schürmeyer. Hieronymus Bosch. Munich, 1923, pp. 34–36, 38, pl. 2, observes that the picture is considered the earliest of three Adorations by Bosch, and the earliest work by him in general; believes the attribution has been based above all on the facial types of the male figures, such genre-like motifs as the shepherds warming their hands at the fire near the open window, and finally, the unusual vessel held by the moorish king, which also appears in the central panel of the Madrid Adoration; suggests this object was used as a prop in miracle plays produced by the Brotherhood of Our Lady in 's Hertogenbosch where Bosch and his father were both documented members; finds our picture poorly drawn and lacking the relief-like quality of Bosch's autograph works but observes that the presence of this rare ornament suggests an artist closely connected with the town, possibly even Bosch's father.
Friedrich Winkler. Die altniederländische Malerei: Die Malerei in Belgien und Holland von 1400–1600. Berlin, 1924, p. 156, as by Bosch; notes that the wooden composition of the figures indicates the work of a beginner.
Willy Burger. Die Malerei in den Niederlanden 1400–1550. Munich, 1925, p. 96, pl. 139, as by Bosch; discusses it with the Adoration in Philadelphia, commenting on the exaggerated emphasis on the racial characteristics of the moorish king in both pictures, and on the stylistic closeness of the Virgin's facial type to works of the Master of the Virgin among Virgins.
Max J. Friedländer. "Geertgen van Haarlem und Hieronymus Bosch." Die altniederländische Malerei. 5, Berlin, 1927, pp. 88–89, 91, 143, no. 66, ill., notes that in its archaic symmetry and gilding, scarcely ever again found in Bosch, this picture makes a meagre and constrained impression, but calls it pleasingly bright and smooth, despite its frugality; considers it early although not youthful in the narrower sense, placing the Philadephia Adoration after it, followed by the one in the Prado; comments on its poor state of preservation.
Lionel Cust. "The Adoration of the Three Kings by Hieronymus Bosch." Apollo 8 (August 1928), p. 55, notes that all authorities agree in regarding our picture, and the Adorations in Philadelphia and Madrid, as among the earliest known works by Bosch.
Franz Dülberg. Niederländische Malerei der Spätgotik und Renaissance. Potsdam, 1929, p. 106, pl. 38, observes that this picture and the Philadelphia Adoration are generally considered the earliest works of Bosch; sees the influence of Geertgen in the figure of the Virgin, and, in the middle king, a type from Bouts.
[Hippolyte] Fierens-Gevaert and Paul Fierens. "La maturité de l'art flamand." Histoire de la peinture flamande des origines à la fin du XVe siècle. 3, Paris, 1929, p. 99, pl. LXXIII, fig. 120, consider it among Bosch's early works, comparing it with a Crucifixion in the Franchomme collection (now Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels).
[D. Hannema]. "Aanwinsten." Museum Boijmans te Rotterdam Jaarverslag (1931), p. 5, calls this one of Bosch's earliest works and notes the influence of miniature painting.
Hans Tietze. Meisterwerke europäischer Malerei in Amerika. Vienna, 1935, p. 334, pl. 139 [English ed., "Masterpieces of European Painting in America," New York, 1939, p. 318, pl. 139], as an early work by Bosch related to his Adoration in the Prado.
Charles de Tolnay. Hieronymus Bosch. Basel, 1937, pp. 103, 128, no. 47, pl. 114a, lists it with contested works, calling it a pastiche, and noting that the figures are archaic in style while the landscape corresponds to the more evolved style of the "second epoque".
Max J. Friedländer. Hieronymus Bosch. The Hague, 1942 [essay reprinted in Ref. Lemmens and Taverne 1967, p. 18], calls it the earliest of Bosch's Adorations; comments on its primitive quality and the isolation of the forms, stressing its distance from the Netherlandish mainstream and Rogier van der Weyden [see Ref. Unverfehrt 1980, pp. 249, 296; reprinted in Jheronimus Bosch, exh. cat., Noordbrabants Museum, 's-Hertogenbosch, 1967, p. 18].
Ludwig von Baldass. Hieronymus Bosch. Vienna, 1943, pp. 38–39, observes that Tolnay [see Ref. 1937] correctly excluded this painting from Bosch's oeuvre.
Ernest Lotthé. La pensée chrétienne dans la peinture flamande et hollandaise. Lille, 1947, vol. 1, pp. 82–83, pl. XLVIIIa; vol. 2, p. 325, no. 132.
Harry B. Wehle and Margaretta Salinger. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Early Flemish, Dutch and German Paintings. New York, 1947, pp. 121–23, ill., as an early work of Bosch, probably of about 1490, and reminiscent in composition and in the type of Virgin to Geertgen; observe that it probably precedes the Prado Adoration and mention "an old copy of our painting, inferior to it in color and quality", in a private collection in Rotterdam (now Boymans-van Beuningen Museum).
Jan Brans. Hieronymus Bosch (El Bosco) en el Prado y en el Escorial. Barcelona, 1948, p. 13, mentions it as by Bosch.
Dirk Bax. Ontcijfering van Jeroen Bosch. The Hague, 1949, pp. 248–50, 253 n. 50, p. 254 n. 87, pp. 264, 272, 274 n. 15, p. 323 [English ed., Hieronymus Bosch: His Picture-writing Deciphered, Rotterdam, 1979, p. 328 n. 50, pp. 329–30, 349, 357, 401], lists this with "paintings which derive from Bosch originals but are probably not copies"; appears in the text to consider it autograph and early.
Julius S. Held. "Book Reviews: Harry B. Wehle and Margaretta M. Salinger . . ., 1947." Art Bulletin 31 (June 1949), pp. 139–40, notes that judging from Bosch's portrait in the Arras Codex he was an old man when he died in 1516, and that one can thus safely put the beginning of his activity earlier than the documented date of 1480–81; observes that our Adoration, "which is correctly called an example of Bosch's 'youthful style' can obviously not be dated 'about the year 1490' but more properly about twenty years earlier".
Fritz Neugass. "Hieronymus Bosch: Anbetung der Könige." Weltkunst 20 (December 15, 1950), p. 2, ill. in color on cover, as an early work of Bosch from about 1490.
Margaretta Salinger. "Notes on the Cover." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 9 (December 1950), inside front cover, ill. in color on cover (detail), as by Bosch; comments on the Dutch qualities of the picture, the "restraint in expression and homeliness of types and mood"; dates it perhaps even as early as 1470.
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. 227, no. 101, colorpl. 101, as by Bosch.
Erwin Panofsky. Early Painting in the Netherlands: Bibliography. 1953, p. 33, notes that Bosch's early works, including the New York and Philadelphia Adorations, "reveal a relationship with Geertgen and the Virgo-master as well as with early engravings".
Lotte Brand Philip. Hieronymus Bosch. New York, 1955, p. 3, no. 1, colorpl. 1 [1969 ed., p. 10, ill. opp p. 10 (color)].
Max J. Friedländer. Early Netherlandish Painting: From van Eyck to Bruegel. English ed. [first ed. 1916]. New York, 1956, pp. 56–58, colorpl. 6, notes that there are at least three extant Adorations by Bosch, including this picture, the one in the Prado, and one in the Johnson collection, Philadelphia.
Erik Larsen. Les primitifs flamands au Musée Metropolitain de New York. Utrecht, 1960, pp. 98, 132–33, fig. XXXVII, as without doubt one of Bosch's earliest works, from about 1480.
R. H. Wilenski. Flemish Painters, 1430–1830. New York, 1960, vol. 1, pp. 68, 83, 85–86, 88, 90, 92, 94; vol. 2, pl. 151, as by the "New York Adoration in a White Castle Painter".
Paul Philippot. "La fin du XVème siècle et les origines d'une nouvelle conception de l'image dans la peinture des Pays-Bas." Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts Bulletin 11 (March–June 1962), pp. 33–34, discusses it as the earliest of Bosch's surviving works.
Colin Eisler. "Erik Larsen, Les primitifs flamands au Musée Metropolitain de New York, 1960." Art Bulletin 46 (March 1964), p. 104, calls it a "charming but inconsequential Boschian pastiche"; observes that the original source may have resembled a painting from the studio of Cornelis Buys in the Mauritshuis (ill. in G. J. Hoogewerff, De Noord-Nederlandsche Schilderkunst, vol. 2, 1937, fig. 174), and calls this "source" a more elaborate restatement of the Boschian original.
Mia Cinotti in The Complete Paintings of Bosch. New York, 1966, pp. 114–15, no. 66, ill., as a workshop product; notes that an almost identical panel, though of lower quality, has been in the Boymans-van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam, since 1957.
Charles de Tolnay. Hieronymus Bosch. reprint of 1965 ed. [New York], 1966, p. 383, no. 47, fig. 36, discusses our picture with the version in Rotterdam, calling ours of superior quality, but neither autograph; ascribes ours to the "atelier of the master" and observes that although the figures seem to be from Bosch's earlier period, of about 1480, the architecture appears to be influenced by Dürer's Epiphany of about 1502–5 from the Life of the Virgin series of woodcuts; notes that details of the landscape would also support a later date and comments that it is impossible to recognize Bosch's style in the brushstrokes, for example in the hands or body of the Christ Child.
G. Lemmens and E. Taverne in Jheronimus Bosch. Exh. cat., Noordbrabants Museum. 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, 1967, p. 77, attribute it to an imitator who used elements of Bosch's work, but consider it superior in quality to the Boymans example; find Tolnay's dating of the picture from the architecture [see Ref. 1966] unconvincing.
Max J. Friedländer et al. "Geertgen tot Sint Jans and Jerome Bosch." Early Netherlandish Painting. 5, New York, 1969, pp. 49, 81, no. 66, pl. 45, calls it an especially early work by the master, disfigured in places by restoration.
Patrik Reuterswärd. Hieronymus Bosch. Stockholm, 1970, pp. 166–67, 185, 258, pl. 1, finds the drawing, in particular the outline of the drapery, and the brushstrokes going towards the upper left characteristic of Bosch; calls it without doubt an original and suggests it is late on the basis of the "brilliance and precision" of the detail.
Bosch in Perspective. Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1973, p. 163, mentions this picture as among the better known attributions questioned or rejected by De Tolnay [see Ref. 1966] and notes that "until a more definitive analysis of his technique is made . . . De Tolnay's selection of authentic works and his dating of them will remain the most convincing analysis".
Wilhelm Fraenger. Hieronymus Bosch. Dresden, 1975, pp. 312–13, 431 n. 140, calls it Bosch's earliest painting.
Sandra Orienti and René de Solier. Hieronimus Bosch. Paris, 1977, p. 123, ill. p. 114, mentions it with other pictures of the subject, more or less contemporary with the Prado Adoration, but with controversial attributions.
Howard Hibbard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1980, pp. 205, 209, fig. 377 (color).
Gerd Unverfehrt. Hieronymus Bosch: Die Rezeption seiner Kunst im frühen 16. Jahrhundert. Berlin, 1980, pp. 123–25, 127, 147, 150, 249–50, no. 23, pl. 66, notes borrowings from Geertgen, David, and the Master of the Virgin among Virgins, and calls it a pastiche from about 1510 or shortly thereafter by an artist trained in the northern Netherlands; judging from a photograph believes it to be an autograph repetition of the picture in Rotterdam.
Walter S. Gibson. "Hieronymus Bosch . . ." Burlington Magazine 124 (January 1982), p. 36.
Introduction by James Snyder in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Renaissance in the North. New York, 1987, pp. 12, 45, ill. in color on title pages (detail), p. 44, and p. 45 (detail), as by Bosch.
J. R. J. van Asperen de Boer. Letter to Maryan Ainsworth. October 1, 1990, states that infrared reflectogram assemblies of this picture do not remind him of anything he has examined in the Bosch group; adds that there is virtually no underdrawing in the Rotterdam Adoration.
Carmen Garrido. Letter to Maryan Ainsworth. 1990, based on color slides and infrared reflectogram assemblies of this picture, suggests an attribution to the school of Bosch; comments on the similarity of the Virgin to Eve in the Garden of Earthly Delights (Prado, Madrid).
Roger H. Marijnissen. Letter to Véronique Sintobin. June 16, 1990, observes that "it is an interesting case, but . . . its artistic quality, style and technical characteristics do not quite fit into Bosch's oeuvre".
Roger van Schoute. Letter to Maryan Ainsworth. April 24, 1990, calls it a pastiche and attributes it to an anonymous master of the northern Netherlands from the end of the fifteenth century; notes the contrast in handling between those parts of the picture painted in gold leaf and the rest of the painting.
Maryan W. Ainsworth. "Implications of Revised Attributions in Netherlandish Painting." Metropolitan Museum Journal 27 (1992), pp. 68–75 nn. 18, 20, 28, 30, figs. 12, 17–19 (infrared reflectogram assemblies), notes that the underdrawing in this picture shows, not the hand of Bosch, but that of an unknown imitator working in his orbit; observes that Peter Klein (in 'personal communications' of 1990 and 1991) has shown that the Rotterdam painting was made in about 1550, and that the felling date of the tree for our panel is about 1472, well within Bosch's lifetime.
Paul Jeromack. "New Light on Old Masters." Art & Antiques 17, no. 5 (1994), pp. 74–75, discusses the change of attribution from Bosch to a later sixteenth-century imitator.
Erik Larsen. Hieronymus Bosch: catalogo completo. Florence, 1998, pp. 29, 111, no. 1, ill. pp. 43–45 (color), calls it the earliest known work by Bosch.
Della Clason Sperling in From Van Eyck to Bruegel: Early Netherlandish Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1998, pp. 36, 66, 74, 258–59, no. 66, ill. (color), date it about 1550.
Carmen Garrido and Roger van Schoute. Bosch at the Museo del Prado: Technical Study. Madrid, 2001, pp. 16, 226.
Jos Koldeweij et al. in Hieronymus Bosch: The Complete Paintings and Drawings. Exh. cat.Rotterdam, 2001, pp. 40–41, 68, 88, 93, 159, 218–19, 221, 225, no. 8.1, ill. (color, overall and detail), refer to it as "Circle of Hieronymus Bosch and/or workshop," and date it about 1475 or later, noting that dendrochronology suggests it could have been produced between 1468–74, the panel in Philadelphia between 1493–99 (and thus more likely to be a pastiche) and the one in Rotterdam, 1536–42; suggest the latter work or our picture could be one of the "altarpieces by Bosch with the presentation of gifts by the Three Kings" mentioned in the "Historia chronolgica . . ." of s'-Hertogenbosch, commissioned in 1606–09; note that if Bosch developed "within the workshop and family tradition" he may have been personally responsible for parts of our Adoration, and followed elements of the composition afterwards in the Prado panel of this subject.
Frédéric Elsig. Jheronimus Bosch: La question de la chronologie. Geneva, 2004, pp. 21–23, fig. 1, finds similarities to Bosch in the iconography and morphological types, but differences in sensibility and spatial conception; suggests this panel was a collaboration of Anthonius van Aken, Bosch's father—and the most prestigious painter of the village of 's-Hertogenbosch—and Bosch himself, and places it in the 1470s.
Larry Silver. Hieronymus Bosch. New York, 2006, p. 155, colorpl. 122, considers this picture and the Rotterdam version "controversial candidates for early paintings, or even for authentic works rather than imitations of Bosch".