Marco Boschini. Le ricche minere della pittura veneziana. Venice, 1674, p. 6 of Sestier di Castello, lists in the church of San Daniele an altarpiece of the Annunciation by Luca Giordano, "pittura rara", possibly this painting.
Anton Maria Zanetti the Elder. Descrizione di tutte le pubbliche pitture della citta' di Venezia e isole circonvicine: O sia rinnovazione delle Ricche minere di Marco Boschini, colla aggiunta di tutte le opere, che uscirono dal 1674 fino al presente 1733. Venice, 1733, p. 202, lists the Annunciation by Giordano in the church of San Daniele, possibly this picture.
[Charles Nicolas] Cochin. Voyage d'Italie, ou recueil de notes sur les ouvrages de peinture & de sculpture, qu'on voit dans les principales villes d'Italie. Paris, 1758, vol. 3, p. 42 [reprinted in Ref. Michel 1991], describes the Annunciation in the church of San Daniele, Venice, as a very weak and exaggerated imitation of the Venetian School, with colors lacking in nuance and slovenly brushwork, possibly this picture.
Inventario Napoleonico. 1808–42, no. 129 [Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan; see Ref. Ferrari and Scavizzi 1992, p. 227 n. 23, p. 405, and Ref. Fahy 2005, p. 57 n. 4], as 278 x 129 cm, possibly this picture.
Michael Milkovich. Luca Giordano in America: Paintings, Drawings, Prints. Exh. cat., Brooks Memorial Art Gallery. Memphis, 1964, pp. 9, 33, no. 7, ill., considers Giordano's drawing in the Museo di San Martino, Naples, a possible preparatory study for this painting, and suggests that a drawing by Pietro da Cortona in the Louvre, Paris, was the source for the composition.
Oreste Ferrari. Letter to Nada Saporiti. April 4, 1965, as Giordano's only securely signed and dated work between 1667 and 1677, sees this painting as of great importance for understanding his activity during this decade.
Oreste Ferrari and Giuseppe Scavizzi. Luca Giordano. Rome?, , vol. 1, pp. 68–71, 234; vol. 2, pp. 76, 78–79; vol. 3, fig. 125, note that this picture and a Madonna of the Rosary in the parish church at Crispano, also dated 1672, are Giordano's only securely documented works surviving from the period between 1668 and 1675; observe that the MMA painting is strongly influenced by Pietro da Cortona, not only in its general composition but also in its liquid pictorial treatment, the rhythmical arrangement of the figures, and the atmospheric space.
Henry A. La Farge. "Noble Metropolitan Visitors." Art News 65 (February 1967), pp. 29, 60, ill., assigns this picture to Giordano's Venetian period.
Ann Tzeutschler Lurie. "Luca Giordano: The Apparition of the Virgin to Saint Francis of Assisi." Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 55 (February 1968), pp. 51–52 n. 36, compares the composition with that of Giordano's "Allegory of Sacred and Profane Love" in the Ringling Museum, Sarasota.
Anthony M. Clark. Letter to Everett Fahy. November 19, 1969, believes the signature to be authentic and discards any notions that this work was executed by Giordano's workshop or pupils.
Federico Zeri with the assistance of Elizabeth E. Gardner. Unpublished manuscript for catalogue of Neapolitan paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. [ca. 1970], comment that "the figure of the archangel Gabriel proves the great importance Giordano's art had for Sebastiano Ricci, and for other painters of the late Venetian Baroque".
Everett Fahy in "Paintings, Drawings." The Wrightsman Collection. 5, [New York], 1973, pp. 83–92, no. 10, ill. p. 85 (color), figs. 1–4 (details), remarks that it is one of Giordano's few surviving works dating from the decade when the artist's style changed from the "essentially Venetian manner of his early masterpieces to the high baroque style of his full maturity"; suggests that it was painted in southern Italy, rather than in Venice, since it was executed in the same year as Giordano's altarpiece of the "Madonna of the Rosary" in the parish church of Crispano, a village north of Naples on the road to Caserta; hypothesizes that these works were painted as pendants for the same church, since they are nearly the same size and share similar motifs, for example the Virgin's hands in the "Annunciation" are repeated in reverse for the Saint Catherine in the Crispano altarpiece; sees in the MMA canvas the influence of Titian's paintings of the subject, in particular his Annunciation in San Domenico, Naples; comments on the influence of Rubens in the "billowy drapery and the filmy transitions of glowing color"; questions Milkovich's assertion [see Ref. 1964] that Giordano's drawing of the Annunciation in San Martino was a study for this composition.
Vera Fortunati Pietrantonio in Dizionario enciclopedico Bolaffi dei pittori e degli incisori italiani. 5, Turin, 1974, p. 457.
R. A. Cecil. "The Wrightsman Collection." Burlington Magazine 118 (July 1976), p. 518.
Howard Hibbard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1980, pp. 300, 305, fig. 539 (color).
Charles Nicolas Cochin. Le voyage d'Italie de Charles-Nicolas Cochin (1758). Rome, 1991, p. 324 n. 4, in a footnote, Michel suggests that the Annunciation by Giordano mentioned by Cochin in the church of San Daniele, Venice, may be the MMA picture
Oreste Ferrari. Letter to Andrea Bayer. March 20, 1991, notes that the radiograph of the picture reveals "pentimenti" in several parts of the figure of the angel and hand of the Virgin, and dispels the previous assumption that the Virgin's head had been altered; reasserts the authenticity of the picture, pointing out that the "classical" head of the Virgin is not unusual in Giordano's oeuvre of the early 1670s.
Oreste Ferrari and Giuseppe Scavizzi. Luca Giordano: l'opera completa. Naples, 1992, vol. 1, pp. 56, 241, 284–85, no. A214; vol. 2, p. 573, fig. 287, note that a radiograph of the painting reveals numerous pentimenti, including changes in the right hand of the Virgin and the left leg of the angel, and alterations in the figures of the "angioletti" at the top of the canvas; list the San Daniele altarpiece among lost works.
Oreste Ferrari in Luca Giordano, 1734–1705. Exh. cat., Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Naples, 2001, pp. 24–25, ill. [Italian ed. "Luca Giordano, 1634–1705," pp. 32–33, ill.], comments that "Venetian (Titian) and neo-Venetian (Mattia Preti and Pietro da Cortona) inspiration abounds" in this picture.
Oreste Ferrari. Luca Giordano y España. Exh. cat., Palacio Real de Madrid. Madrid, 2002, pp. 32–33, 35, ill. (color).
Everett Fahy in The Wrightsman Pictures. New York, 2005, pp. 53–57, no. 14, ill. (color), believes that Giordano probably executed this altarpiece for the church of San Daniele in Venice.
Keith Christiansen. "Going for Baroque: Bringing 17th-Century Masters to the Met." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 62 (Winter 2005), pp. 9, 14, fig. 7 (color).