Carlo Cesare Malvasia. Felsina pittrice: vite de' pittori bolognesi. Bologna, 1678, vol. 2, p. 364, lists three works executed by Guercino in 1619 for Cardinal Serra: a wounded Saint Sebastian being succored by various figures, a Samson with Delilah who cuts his hair, and a prodigal son received by his father; records that Serra proved so enthusiastic about Guercino's modeling that he paid more than the agreed upon price for the pictures and conferred a knighthood on the artist.
Marcello Oretti. notes on paintings seen in Naples. ca. 1777–78 [Biblioteca Comunale di Bologna, ms. B. 165²; this passage published in Ref. Mahon 1968, p. 83]
, lists in the "Casa del Conte della Cerra fuori della Porta allo Spirito Santo un quadro con Sansone in grembo a Dalida assalito dalli Filistei del Guercino figure al naturale" [At the home of Count della Cerra, outside the gate of Santo Spirito, a life-size painting by Guercino of Samson in the lap of Delilah, assailed by Philistines].
Roberto Longhi. "The Climax of Caravaggio's Influence on Guercino." Art in America 14 (June 1926), p. 140, identifies Guercino's "Raising of Lazarus" (Louvre, Paris) as the pendant to his "Samson Captured by the Philistines," known only from a copy in the Musée d'Angoulême
Denis Mahon. Il Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, 1591–1666): catalogo critico dei disegni. Exh. cat., Palazzo dell'Archiginnasio. Bologna, 1968, p. 65, connects Guercino's sketch for "Samson Captured by the Philistines" (Teylers Museum, Haarlem) with his painting of the same subject known from a copy in the Musée d'Angoulême; agrees with Longhi (1926) that Guercino's "Raising of Lazarus" may have been conceived as a pendant to his "Samson".
Denis Mahon Palazzo dell'Archiginnasio. Il Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, 1591–1666): catalogo critico dei dipinti. Bologna, 1968, p. 83, cites Oretti as evidence that a picture of this subject was in Naples in about 1777–78.
Andrea Emiliani in Nuove acquisizioni per i musei dello stato, 1966–1971. Exh. cat., Palazzo dell'Archiginnasio. Bologna, 1971, p. 55.
R. A. Cecil. "The Wrightsman Collection." Burlington Magazine 118 (July 1976), p. 518.
Denis Mahon. "Guercino and Cardinal Serra: A Newly Discovered Masterpiece." Apollo 114 (September 1981), pp. 170–75, colorpl. VII, figs. 2, 3 (details), discusses the rediscovery of this painting and its early provenance; sees the diverse and seemingly unrelated subject matter of the works Guercino made for Serra as evidence that the artist was at liberty with the latter to propose subjects that would serve as pretexts for the experiments in painting that interested both men; adds that Guercino may have enjoyed a similar freedom with Serra in decisions regarding the size and format of pictures made for him.
Amalia Mezzetti and Emanuele Mattaliano. Indice ragionato delle "Vite de' pittori e scultori ferraresi" di Gerolamo Baruffaldi. Vol. 2, Ferrara, 1981, p. 161.
John Russell. "1981: A Year for Artists' Centenaries." New York Times (January 1, 1981), p. 7.
Arnauld Brejon de Lavergnée and Dominique Thiébaut. Catalogue sommaire illustré des peintures du musée du Louvre. Vol. 2, Italie, Espagne, Allemagne, Grande-Bretagne et divers. Paris, 1981, p. 187, call it the pendant to the Louvre "Raising of Lazarus".
Patrick Matthiesen in From Borso to Cesare d'Este: The School of Ferrara 1450–1628. Exh. cat., Matthiesen Fine Art Ltd. London, 1984, p. 111, under no. 65.
Keith Christiansen in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1984–1985. New York, 1985, pp. 21–22, ill. (color), grants that Guercino's "Raising of Lazarus" (Louvre, Paris) may conceivably be the pendant to the Wrightsman "Samson".
Denis Mahon in The Age of Correggio and the Carracci: Emilian Painting of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Exh. cat.Washington, 1986, pp. 468–69, no.163, ill. (color).
Luigi Salerno. I dipinti del Guercino. Rome, 1988, p. 136, no. 58, ill. (color).
Marina Cellini in La pittura in Italia: il Seicento. Ed. Mina Gregori and Erich Schleier. Milan, 1989, vol. 2, p. 772.
Nicholas Turner. "A drawing for Guercino's "Samson Taken by the Philistines"." Burlington Magazine 131 (January 1989), p. 29, ill., attributes to Guercino a drawing given to Ludovico Carracci in the Gabinetto dei Disegni (Uffizi, Florence) and identifies this drawing as a composition study for the Wrightsman picture; is uncertain whether the Uffizi drawing precedes or follows the study in the Teylers Museum, Haarlem, but observes that it would have made for a less expensive picture "since Guercino charged less for half lengths than for full lengths"
David M. Stone. Guercino: catalogo completo dei dipinti. Florence, 1991, pp. 75–76, no. 54, ill. (color).
Carel van Tuyll van Serooskerken. Guercino (1591–1666): Drawings from Dutch Collections. Exh. cat.The Hague, 1991, p. 40, no. 4, compares the Teylers Museum drawing with the finished painting, calling the former relatively restrained and frieze-like, with a less unified narrative; believes that if Longhi's suggestion [see Ref. 1926] that the "Samson" and "Raising of Lazarus" were intended as pendants is correct, then the format of the MMA picture must have evolved first, "since the earliest known drawings for the "Lazarus" already show the squarish format adopted for both paintings"; credits Aiden Weston-Lewis with connecting a red chalk study in the Lugt Collection, Paris, previously attributed to Annibale Carracci, with the figure of Samson in the Wrightsman picture.
William M. Griswold. "Guercino." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 48 (Spring 1991), pp. 10, 13–17, 33, ill. (color), speculates that the composition study in the Teylers Museum at Haarlem may have belonged to Queen Christina of Sweden who visited Guercino in Bologna in 1655; suggests that the drawing in the Lugt Collection, Paris, may have been made as an exercise in life drawing and only later incorporated into the painting for Serra, as its red chalk medium was used by Guercino mainly for studies of individual figures and drapery.
Denis Mahon. Guercino: Master Painter of the Baroque. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1992, pp. 32, 180 [Italian ed., 1991].
Eliot W. Rowlands. The Collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: Italian Paintings, 1300–1800. Kansas City, Mo., 1996, p. 244.
Gabriele Finaldi in Discovering the Italian Baroque: The Denis Mahon Collection. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 1997, p. 100, under no. 43.
Everett Fahy in The Wrightsman Pictures. Ed. Everett Fahy. New York, 2005, pp. 27–31, no. 7, ill. (color).
Keith Christiansen. "Going for Baroque: Bringing 17th-Century Masters to the Met." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 62 (Winter 2005), pp. 37–39, fig. 33 (color), ill. on front cover (color detail).
Alejandro Vergara in Rembrandt, pintor de historias. Ed. Alejandro Vergara. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, 2008, p. 37, fig. 12 (color).
Silvia A. Centeno and Dorothy Mahon. "The Chemistry of Aging in Oil Paintings: Metal Soaps and Visual Changes." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 67 (Summer 2009), pp. 15–16, figs. 22–26 (color, overall, detail, and paint samples).
Keith Christiansen in Philippe de Montebello and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1977–2008. New York, 2009, pp. 36–37.
Everett Fahy in Philippe de Montebello and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1977–2008. New York, 2009, p. 32.