Bernard Dorival. Philippe de Champaigne. Exh. cat., Musée de l'Orangerie. Paris, 1952, pp. 71–72, pl. 12, calls it one of the earliest portraits of Colbert; notes that the painting by Champaigne in the Musée Jacquemart André, Paris, long considered a portrait of this sitter, is not, and that the so-called portrait of Colbert by Champaigne in the museum in Reims is neither by Champaigne nor a likeness of the minister; states that the MMA portrait was the basis for Nanteuil's 1662 engraving of Colbert.
A. Mabille de Poncheville. Philippe de Champaigne: Sa vie et son œuvre. Paris, [in or shortly after 1952], pp. 90, 132, n. 60, p. 145, pl. 16, states that this portrait was engraved by Nanteuil in 1660 and again in 1662; erroneously claims that Champaigne's portrait in the Karlsruhe museum also represents Colbert [it in fact represents a Monsieur Le Camus].
Theodore Rousseau Jr. "A Guide to the Picture Galleries." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12, part 2 (January 1954), pp. 5, 24, ill.
Charles Sterling. "XV–XVIII Centuries." The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of French Paintings. 1, Cambridge, Mass., 1955, pp. 66–67.
Michael Thomas. "The Problems of the Splendid Century." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 19 (April 1961), ill. p. 224.
Andrzej Ryszkiewicz. "Sur les tableaux de Philippe de Champaigne en Pologne." Bulletin du Musée National de Varsovie 4 (1963), p. 27, notes that it was for a long time in the collection of the Lubomirski family of Przeworsk, having been exhibited several times since 1853.
Georges Poisson. "Le visage de Colbert." Bulletin de la Société de l'Histoire de l'Art Français, année 1965, (1966), pp. 119–20, calls the picture on which Nanteuil's engravings are based the earliest portrait of Colbert, but hesitates to identify the MMA painting with this prototype; considers the appearance of the sitter different in many details from the subject of the Nanteuil engravings and unlike the numerous replicas of the type in Reims, Musée Dobré, Nantes, and one originally in the Château de Sceaux, now in storage in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Le Mans; lists other portraits of Colbert, or said to be of Colbert, by other artists.
Bernard Dorival. "Recherches sur les portraits gravés aux XVII et XVIII siècles d'après Philippe de Champaigne." Gazette des beaux-arts 75 (May–June 1970), pp. 275, 292, ill. (the painting and Nanteuil engravings), discusses engravings which he believes are based on this portrait; gives sale dates and dimensions of numerous so-called portraits of Colbert by Philippe de Champaigne on the art market from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, none of which can be identified with certainty with the MMA painting.
M. Roy Fisher. Letter to Mary Ann Harris. November 6, 1975, finds the physiognomy of Colbert somewhat closer to the Nanteuil engraving recorded by Petitjean as no. 52 than to the ones that are nos. 50 and 51.
Bernard Dorival. Philippe de Champaigne, 1602–1674: La vie, l'œuvre, et le catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre. Paris, 1976, vol. 1, pp. 49–50, 129–30, 133, 161, 182, 185; vol. 2, pp. 92, no. 163, p. 429, fig. 163, catalogues it as the only portrait by Champaigne that actually represents Colbert, basing his identification on the Nanteuil engravings and on the description in Guillet de Saint-Georges [Memoires inédits, 1854], catalogues other works said to be of Colbert, either authentic or inauthentic works of Champaigne (p. 93, no. 166, p. 166, no. 337, p. 240, nos. 934–38, p. 317, nos. 1735–38, ill. pp. 429, 465, 493); incorrectly identifies the MMA portrait with one of Colbert sold as with the Saint-Martin collection in Paris on May 7, 1806, lot 8 [see Notes].
Anthony Blunt. "The Literature of Art: A New Book on Philippe de Champaigne." Burlington Magazine 119 (August 1977), p. 576, states that there is no reason to associate this painting with the portrait of Colbert by Champaigne mentioned by Guillet de Saint-Georges [see Ref. Dorival 1976]; maintains that Nanteuil's engraving is certainly not based on this picture and does not even represent the same man, noting that the 1660 engraving shows a younger man than is represented in the MMA painting, which is dated 1655.
Howard Hibbard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1980, pp. 324–25, 329, fig. 584.
Pierre Rosenberg. France in the Golden Age: Seventeenth-century French Paintings in American Collections. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1982, pp. 233, 349, no. 2, ill. [French ed., La peinture française du XVIIe siècle dans les collections américaines, Paris, 1982].
Jacqueline Melet-Sanson in Colbert, 1619–1683. Exh. cat., Hôtel de la Monnaie. Paris, 1983, pp. 485–86, 492, no. 701, calls it the earliest known portrait of Colbert, certainly by Philippe de Champaigne, but suggests that either a different portrait by the artist served as the model for Nanteuil's engravings of 1660 and 1662 or the printmaker used this picture and liberally interpreted it.
Bernard Dorival. "Recherches sur l'iconographie de Colbert: Colbert tel qu'il fut et tel qu'il voulut apparaître." Un nouveau Colbert. Paris, 1985, p. 47.
Bernard Dorival. Supplément au catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre de Philippe de Champaigne. Paris, 1992, p. 51, mentions it as closely related to another portrait of Colbert painted by Champaigne in 1559 and known only through a replica in a private collection.
José Gonçalves. Philippe de Champaigne: Le patriarche de la peinture, 1602–1674. Paris, 1995, p. 125, ill. (color).
Nicolas Sainte Fare Garnot in The Dictionary of Art. 6, New York, 1996, p. 435, ill.
D. Brême in Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon: die bildenden Künstler aller Zeiten und Völker. 18, Munich, 1998, p. 142.
Lorenzo Pericolo. Philippe de Champaigne. Tournai, 2002, pp. 195–97, ill. (color).
Javier Portús in Cortes del Barroco: de Bernini y Velázquez a Luca Giordano. Exh. cat., Palacio Real de Madrid and Palacio Real de Aranjuez. Madrid, 2003, p. 342, no. 13.10, ill. (color).
Joseph Baillio et al. The Arts of France from François Ier to Napoléon Ier. Exh. cat., Wildenstein & Co., Inc. New York, , pp. 53, 72, no. 21, ill.
Everett Fahy in The Wrightsman Pictures. New York, 2005, p. 151.
Jean-Claude Boyer. "De l'amateur au patron des arts: L'esquisse d'une politique?" Mazarin: Les lettres et les arts. Paris, 2006, pp. 68, 70, 433 n. 9, ill. (color), interprets this portrait in light of the roles held in 1655 by Colbert and Champaigne, the former being Mazarin's "homme de confiance," and the latter entrusted with Mazarin's plan for the transformation of the château de Vincennes.
Jean-Claude Boyer in Philippe de Champaigne, 1602–1674: Entre politique et dévotion. Exh. cat., Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille. Paris, 2007, pp. 272–73, no. 81, ill. (color).
François d'Aubert. Colbert: La vertu usurpée. Paris, 2010, pp. 60–61, 340, ill. opp. p. 256 (color), mistakenly dates it 1656 in the text.
Audrey Adamczak. Robert Nanteuil, ca. 1623–1678. Paris, 2011, p. 198, under no. 146.