Monthly Mirror (June 1797), p. 344 [see Ref. McKay and Roberts 1909], describes the picture as "well composed, the contrast free and bold; the children much after Sir Joshua's manner, but rather flat, from the light being generally diffused over the figures".
H. P. K. Skipton. John Hoppner. London, 1905, pp. 63, 82–84, 171, dates it [in error] 1797; calls it one of Hoppner's finest studies of childhood, and suggests that the landscape was "very likely drawn from nature at Knole".
Lionel Sackville West. Knole House: Its State Rooms, Pictures and Antiquities. new authorized ed. Sevenoaks, 1906, pp. 83–84, ill. (color, frontispiece), calls it the chief feature of the first private sitting room on the ground floor, and identifies the landscape as taken in the Park near the Sevenoaks lodge.
W[illiam]. Roberts. Sir William Beechey, R.A. London, 1907, p. 152.
William McKay and W[illiam]. Roberts. John Hoppner, R.A. London, 1909, pp. 225, 317.
W[illiam]. Roberts. The Masterpieces of Hoppner (1758–1810). London, 1912, ill. p. 24.
William McKay and W[illiam]. Roberts. Supplement and Index to John Hoppner, R.A. London, 1914, p. 45, mention a mezzotint by L. Busière after the portrait.
"A Child Portrait by Hoppner." International Studio 75 (June 1922), p. 207.
"Lamont Buys Hoppner for Record Price." Art News 27 (July 13, 1929), pp. 1–2, reports the sale by Spink to Lamont.
Louise Gordon-Stables. "London Letter." Art News 27 (July 13, 1929), p. 18.
Charles J. Phillips. History of the Sackville Family. London, 1930, vol. 2, pp. 191–92, 266, 408, 437, ill. opp. p. 266, lists it among portraits added to the collection at Knole by the third duke of Dorset, recording a payment of £105 to Hoppner on August 25, 1796 from the duke's account with Messrs. Drummond & Co.
V[ictoria]. Sackville-West. Knole and the Sackvilles. London, 1949, pp. vii, 193, 196, ill. opp. p. 189, claims that Hoppner stayed nine or ten days at Knole painting the three children, relates a family story about their poses, and states that the portrait was sold toward the payment of succession duties, giving the date [in error] as 1930.
A. Hyatt Mayor. "Children Are What We Make Them." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 15 (March 1957), ill. p. 185.
John Human Wilson. "The Life and Work of John Hoppner (1758–1810)." PhD diss., Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 1992, vol. 1, p. 196–98; vol. 2, fig. 58, compares this canvas to Goya's portraits of children.
Andrew Montgomery. "Thanks to the National Trust." Country Life 187 (July 8, 1993), ill. p. 90 (in an interior view of Knole).
Katharine Baetjer. "British Portraits in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 57 (Summer 1999), p. 52–55, ill. (color, overall and details).
Katharine Baetjer. British Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1575–1875. New York, 2009, pp. 189–92, no. 93, ill. (color).