E. A. Sturm. Goseck und seine Umgebungen. Naumburg, 1844, p. ? [see Ref. Lepsius 1855], as "The Sacrifice of Jephtha's Daughter," in the Schlosskirche; describes it as being seven feet high and about the same width.
Christian Schuchardt. Lucas Cranach des Aeltern: Leben und Werke. Vol. 2, Leipzig, 1851, p. 68, no. 314, lists it in the Schlosskirche of Goseck as "The Beheading of Saint Barbara," but does not mention a coat of arms; compares it with Cranach's woodcut of the subject [see Notes], and tentatively ascribes it to Cranach's workshop or to a follower, finding that the handling is not accomplished enough for the master; mentions that the picture had been damaged and was restored.
Friedrich Eduard Keller. Der Regierungsbezirk Merseburg. Magdeburg, 1853, p. 361, as "The Sacrifice of Jephtha's Daughter," probably by Michael Wolgemut, in the Goseck Schlosskirche; notes that it was recently restored.
Karl Peter Lepsius. Kleine Schriften: Beiträge zur thüringisch-sächsischen Geschichte und deutschen Kunst- und Altertumskunde. Ed. A. Schulz. Vol. 3, Magdeburg, 1855, pp. 149–57, comments on its recently cleaned and restored state, identifying the subject as the beheading of Saint Barbara; finds the work in the character of the school of Cranach, ascribing it to an unknown Swabian, not Saxon, master; identifies the arms at lower right as those of the Rehm family of Augsburg and, based on this, invents a possible early provenance for the picture; notes that the painting was transferred by the Graf von Zech-Burkersroda from the Dorfkirche of Goseck to its Schlosskirche.
Karl August Gottlob Sturm. Geschichte und Beschreibung der ehemaligen Grafschaft und Benediktinerabtei Goseck. Weissenfels, 1861, p. 113, again identifies the subject as the sacrifice of Jephtha's daughter and calls it probably by Wolgemut; notes that the Graf von Zech-Burkersroda bought it for 100 Taler twenty years ago and had it restored in Dresden.
M. B. Lindau. Lucas Cranach: Ein Lebensbild aus dem Zeitalter der Reformation. Leipzig, 1883, p. 242, calls the woodcut a study for the painting, which he considers a production of Cranach's workshop or possibly of a follower; finds the painting similar in style to the wings of the altarpiece in the east choir of Naumburg cathedral.
Heinrich Bergner. Beschreibende Darstellung der älteren Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler der Provinz Sachsen. Vol. 27, Kreis Querfurt. Halle, 1909, pp. 125–26, no. 2, lists it in the Schlosskirche as "The Execution of Saint Catherine" by Lucas Cranach, repeating Lepsius's identification of the Rehm arms [see Ref. 1855]; states that it was purchased for the Schlosskirche by Zech-Burkersroda in about 1840.
Friedrich Hoppe. "Goseck." Heimatkalender für die Stadt- und Landkreise Weissenfels und Zeitz 6 (1930), p. 99, mentions it as a large painting of an Old Testament scene in the Sclosskirche, formerly in the Dorfkirche, which had come from a patrician family in Augsburg.
"Additions to the Collections." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16 (October 1957), p. 63, ill. p. 42, as "The Martyrdom of Saint Barbara," by Lucas Cranach the Elder.
Jakob Rosenberg. Die Zeichnungen Lucas Cranachs D. Ä. Berlin, 1960, p. 35, under no. A7, mentions it in connection with the drawing of the same subject in the Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt, which he calls a copy by a student of Cranach.
Werner Schade. "Maler aus dem Umkreis Cranachs." Lucas Cranach, 1472–1553: Ein grosser Maler in bewegter Zeit. Exh. cat., Schloßmuseum. Weimar, 1972, pp. 149–50, states that it seems to be an outstanding work by an older Cranach student.
Dieter Koepplin and Tilman Falk. Lukas Cranach: Gemälde, Zeichnungen, Druckgraphik. Exh. cat., Kunstmuseum Basel. Vol. 2, Basel, 1976, pp. 550, 552, under no. 413, Koepplin describes it as similar in character to Cranach's woodcut of the subject and is inclined to ascribe it to Cranach himself, noting that the original wings (lost) would have better framed the composition; sees the drawing in Frankfurt as a copy after a compositional sketch by Cranach; suggests that Schuchardt [see Ref. 1851] may have been looking at the smaller copy after the MMA picture [see Notes].
Max J. Friedländer and Jakob Rosenberg. The Paintings of Lucas Cranach. rev. ed. Ithaca, N.Y., 1978, p. 72, no. 21, ill., date it about 1510 and ascribe it to Cranach; state that it belongs to the stylistic phase of the artist's "Fourteen Helpers in Need" (Marienkirche, Torgau, Germany), which they date about 1507; mistakenly call the family whose coat of arms appears in the lower right Rehn rather than Rehm.
Werner Schade. Cranach: A Family of Master Painters. New York, 1980, pp. 46, 382 n. 274 [German ed., "Die Malerfamilie Cranach," Dresden, 1974, pp. 46, 382 n. 274], calls it a good school work.
Introduction by James Snyder in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Renaissance in the North. New York, 1987, pp. 15, 106, colorpl. 74, as by Cranach; dates it about 1510–15.
Élie Faure et al. Lukas Cranach: "le corps divinisé," le début du maniérisme, 1472–1553. Paris, 1993, p. 95, ill. p. 77 (color detail), dates it about 1510.
Johannes Erichsen in Lucas Cranach: Eine Maler-Unternehmer aus Franken. Exh. cat., Festung Rosenberg, Kronach. Augsburg, 1994, pp. 181, 185 n. 8, refers to it as a product of Cranach's workshop; suggests that an engraving (fig. A122) of the same subject by Master MZ served as a model for the MMA painting.
Portraits and Other Recent Acquisitions. Exh. cat., New York Lawrence Steigrad Fine Arts. [New York], , unpaginated, under no. 1, discuss our painting in relation to the workshop copy in the Guccione collection until 2007 [see Notes].
Karen E. Thomas in German Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1350–1600. New Haven, 2013, p. 12.
Maryan W. Ainsworth in German Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1350–1600. New Haven, 2013, pp. 5, 47–51, 284–85, no. 9, ill. (color) and fig. 44 (infrared reflectogram detail).