W. Bürger [Théophile Thoré]. "Exposition de tableaux de l'école française ancienne tirés de collections d'amateurs." Gazette des beaux-arts 8 (November 1860), pp. 236–37, ill. (etching by L. Flameng), views this picture, called "Danaë," with mixed feelings; notes that it was added to the exhibit in the boulevard des Italiens; suggests that it was in the estate of the painter, as he remembers seeing it in the home of Caroline Greuze.
Théodore Lejeune. Guide théorique et pratique de l'amateur de tableaux. Vol. 1, Paris, 1864, p. 278, as "Danaé," in the Bonnet collection, from Rhoné.
Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt. L'art du dix-huitième siècle. Vol. 1, 3rd ed. Paris, 1880, p. 347, as exhibited in 1860 on the boulevard des Italiens; provide dimensions of 1 m 50 by 1 m.
Alphonse Bacheret. Une centaine de peintres: The Works of One Hundred Great Masters (Engraved) with Descriptive Text. Philadelphia, [1895?], fascicule 9–10, pl. 83, as "Danae".
J. Martin and Charles Masson. Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint et dessiné de Jean-Baptiste Greuze [published as supplement to C. Mauclair, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Paris, 1905]. Paris, 1905, p. 5, no. 37, as "Danaë"; state that it figured in the 1842 sale of Caroline Greuze; list the La Caze sketch.
J. J. Foster. French Art from Watteau to Prud'hon. Vol. 3, London, 1907, p. 37.
"Trotti et Cie." La Renaissance 6 (January 1923), p. 362, ill. opp. p. 360.
Gaston Brière. Musée national du Louvre: Catalogue des peintures exposées dans les galeries. Vol. 1, École française. Paris, 1924, p. 120, under no. 377, calls the Louvre "Danaé" a sketch for the Lapeyrière and Bonnet painting.
Louis Gillet in La peinture au Musée du Louvre. Vol. 1, École française. Paris, 1929, pp. 67–68, calls the Louvre "Égine et Jupiter" a sketch for ours, an unfinished work that never left the artist's studio.
Masterworks of Five Centuries. Exh. cat., Golden Gate International Exposition. San Francisco, 1939, unpaginated, no. 116, ill., as engraved by Desboutin.
Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt. French XVIII Century Painters. London, 1948, p. 243.
"Without Benefit of Labels." Art News 67 (December 1968), pp. 35, 58, ill., observe that "the exaggerated 'high moral tone' which is often so excessive in Greuze's painting as to make him ludicrous to modern eyes, is played down".
Anthony M. Clark in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1965–1975. New York, 1975, p. 89, ill.
Edgar Munhall. Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 1725–1805. Ed. Joseph Focarino. Exh. cat.Hartford, 1976, pp. 12, 138–40, no. 65, ill., publishes a third preparatory drawing, in a private collection, Paris, for the figure of Aegina and notes that there is a study for her head in the Louvre; suggests our picture was an unfinished attempt at a reception piece for the Academy, and comments on qualities it shares with "Septimus Severus Reproaching Caracalla", the work the artist submitted; mentions a small copy in the Ricketts sale, Paris, December 8–12, 1846, lot 423, 16 3/4 x 22 5/8 in.
Robert Rosenblum. "The Greuze Exhibition at Hartford and Elsewhere." Burlington Magazine 119 (February 1977), pp. 146, 149, fig. 107, proposes Jupiter and Semele as the subject, thus the old woman would be "the crafty, jealous Juno, who disguised herself as Semele's servant, Beroe, and persuaded Semele to request that the god come to her bed in his most majestic, potent—and therefore fatal—form of clouds, thunder, and lightning, whence Semele's look of both amorous longing and terror"; notes that Greuze's "erotic mythology" is prophetic of certain works by Jacques-Louis David.
Michael Levey. "Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725–1805)." Master Drawings 15, no. 3 (1977), p. 281, doubts the identification of the subject as Aegina, and proposes Semele, suggesting that the prominent mirror would hint at her fatal vanity.
Antoine Schnapper. "Review of Edgar Munhall, 'Jean Baptiste Greuze,' 1977." Art Bulletin 60, no. 2 (June 1978), p. 375, as perhaps Jupiter and Semele.
Howard Hibbard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1980, pp. 378, 384, fig. 681 (color).
Gary Schwartz. Letter to Walter Liedtke. February 9, 1984, notes that Rembrandt's "Jupiter and Danae" or "Jupiter and Aegina" was in the Crozat collection in Greuze's time and wonders whether Greuze was inspired by it.
James Thompson. "Jean-Baptiste Greuze." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 47 (Winter 1989/90), pp. 31–33, fig. 27, ill. (color), states that it has been connected with a desire Greuze expressed to Diderot in 1767 to paint a nude woman.
Mark Ledbury. Sedaine, Greuze and the Boundaries of Genre. Oxford, 2000, pp. 170–71, pl. 23, comments on similarities to "Septime Sévère" which suggest that the MMA painting immediately precedes it or is contemporaneous; remarks that the sketch for the figure in a private collection, Paris, is bold and muscular, while in the sketch in the Sexton collection and in the painting itself, Greuze substitutes an adolescent girl; observes that "this process of deliberate transformation of the adult into the adolescent, and the rather troubling and stilted effect it has, continues Greuze's tendency to use the adolescent as a conduit for all adult dilemma and as a site of the working out of adult trauma".
Guillaume Faroult in Fragonard amoureux: Galant et libertin. Ed. Guillaume Faroult. Exh. cat., Musée du Luxembourg. Paris, 2015, p. 142, under nos. 40–41.