County Literary Chronicle (May 8, 1824) [see Ref. Levey 1979], declares it to be beyond all praise "for expression and sentiment, execution and colouring".
"Fine Arts: Royal Academy." Edinburgh Annual Register 17 (January 1824), p. 381, notes "the 'Children of Charles B. Calmady, Esq.,' are beautiful, and seem actually alive".
Examiner (May 10, 1824) [see Ref. Levey 1979], observes that no "genius short of Corregio's [sic]" could surpass it.
Sir Thomas Lawrence. Letter to Mrs. Calmady. October 25, 1824 [published in Ref. Williams 1831, vol. 2, pp. 342–43], writes that she is "quite right about the initials. I believe five pictures would include all on which I have written them".
Sir Thomas Lawrence. Letter to Mrs. Calmady. March 23, 1824 [published in Ref. Roberts 1915, p. 66], requests another sitting with the children if convenient.
Literary Gazette (May 1, 1824), p. 282 [see Ref. Noon 2003, p. 189].
Literary Gazette (May 8, 1824) [see Ref. Levey 1979], praises its execution and sentiment.
London Magazine (June 1824) [see Ref. Levey 1979], notes that it "might vie in expression with any picture of a similar subject of any age".
"Exhibition at the Royal Academy." Times (May 4, 1824), p. 3, calls it "one of [Lawrence's] happiest works".
Sir Thomas Lawrence. Letter to Abraham Raimbach. September 30, 1825 [published in Ref. Raimbach 1843, pp. 128–29 n. 141], writes to arrange for Raimbach to see the painting at his Paris hotel and show it to friends.
D. E. Williams. The Life and Correspondence of Sir Thomas Lawrence, Kt. London, 1831, vol. 2, pp. 331–45, describes the circumstances of its execution; states [in error] that it was shown at the French Academy; quotes Lawrence's remark that it was his "best picture of the kind . . . one of the few I should wish hereafter to be known by".
P. G. Patmore. Sir Thomas Lawrence's Cabinet of Gems. London, 1837, p. 19.
Abraham Raimbach. Memoirs and Recollections of the Late Abraham Raimbach, Esq., Engraver. London, 1843, pp. 128–29, mentions that in 1825, at his request, Lawrence (who at the time was painting Charles X) sent the portrait of the Calmady children to him at his Paris hotel so that he could show it to his French friends.
Charles Blanc in W. Bürger [Étienne-Joseph-Théophile Thoré]. "Thomas Lawrence." Histoire des peintres de toutes les écoles: école anglaise. Paris, 1863, pp. 10, 12, ill. p. 3 (Freeman engraving).
Richard Redgrave and Samuel Redgrave. A Century of Painters of the English School. London, 1866, vol. 2, pp. 12, 28, call it one of his best but compare it unfavorably to Reynolds's portraits of children.
Allan Cunningham. The Lives of the Most Eminent British Painters and Sculptors. 5, New York, 1868, p. 206 [1880 ed., vol. 3, p. 84].
William Harness in The Literary Remains of Catherine Maria Fanshawe. London, 1876, pp. 35, 41–42, mentions that Lawrence said he had a poem by Fanshawe in mind when painting this work.
"Art Sales." Times (May 24, 1886), p. 6, states that "after a rather languid round of bids" it was sold for 1,800 guineas, or £1,890, to Vincent.
Ronald Gower. Romney and Lawrence. London, 1892, pp. 70–71, 102, 108, 113, 117, ill. p. 35.
"Fair Children at the Grafton Galleries." Pears' Pictorial 1 (June 1, 1895), pp. 26–27.
W[illiam]. Roberts. Memorials of Christie's: A Record of Art Sales from 1766 to 1896. London, 1897, vol. 2, p. 95, gives the sale price in 1886 as 1,890 guineas.
The Master Painters of Britain. 1, Edinburgh, 1897, p. 27, ill. 27 (engraving) [ed. 1909, p. 76, ill. p. 77], as Nature.
Ronald Sutherland Gower. Sir Thomas Lawrence. London, 1900, pp. 67–70, 114, ill. opp. p. 68 (E. Gaujean etching).
John van Dyke and Timothy Cole. Old English Masters Engraved by Timothy Cole. New York, 1902, p. 166.
"Pictures by Sir Thomas Lawrence: Original Prices and Present Values." Art-Journal (April 1904), p. 124.
R. S. Clouston. Sir Thomas Lawrence. London, , pl. 5, as Nature.
Masters in Art: Lawrence 8 (January 1907), p. 39, pl. IX, as Nature.
J. Kirby Grant. "Mrs. Collis P. Huntington's Collection." Connoisseur 20 (January 1908), p. 3.
Freeman O'Donoghue. Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits Preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum. 1, 1908, pp. 320–21.
M. H. Spielmann. British Portrait Painting to the Opening of the Nineteenth Century. London, 1910, vol. 2, p. 66.
Walter Armstrong. Lawrence. New York, 1913, p. 118, pl. VIII (Samuel Cousins mezzotint), as Nature; mentions [in error] that it was exhibited at the Louvre in 1824.
Algernon Graves in Sixty Drawings by Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A. Exh. cat., Edward Gallery. London, 1913, p. 11.
Clayton Hamilton. "Children in Paintings (Sir Thomas Lawrence)." Munsey's Magazine 52 (July 1914), p. 274, ill. p. 265.
W[illiam]. Roberts. "Some Unpublished Lawrence Portraits." Connoisseur 41 (February 1915), p. 66, reproduces a letter about it from Lawrence to Mrs. Calmady.
The Outline of Art. 2, New York, 1924, ill. opp. p. 265 (G. T. Doo engraving).
"Some of the Choicest Paintings in the Collis P. Huntington Collection at the Metropolitan Museum." Art News 23 (July 18, 1925), ill. p. 7.
Bryson Burroughs. "The Collis P. Huntington Collection Comes to the Museum." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 20 (June 1925), p. 142, ill. on cover.
H[arry]. B. Wehle. "Notes on Paintings in the Huntington Collection." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 20 (July 1925), p. 178.
Adams in Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. 22, Leipzig, 1928, p. 483.
Édouard Jonas. Collections léguées à la ville de Paris par Ernest Cognacq. Paris, 1930, p. 26.
A[lfred]. M. F[rankfurter]. "Comment and Correspondence." Antiquarian 16–17 (November 1931), p. 49, ill.
C. H. Collins Baker. British Painting. London, 1933, pp. 172, 281, pl. 114.
Myrtle B. McGraw. The Child in Painting. New York, 1941, p. 12, pl. 31.
E[lizabeth]. E. G[ardner]. "Notes." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 8 (November 1949), unpaginated, ill. inside cover and cover (color detail).
Douglas Goldring. Regency Portrait Painter: The Life of Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A. London, 1951, pp. 301–2.
Kenneth Garlick. Sir Thomas Lawrence. London, 1954, pp. 15, 30, 88, pl. 99.
Mahonri Sharp Young. "Sir Thomas Lawrence, R.A.: Millionaire Collector." Art News 54 (October 1955), p. 25, ill. opp. p. 26 (color).
A. Hyatt Mayor. "The Gifts that Made the Museum." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16 (November 1957), p. 106.
Kenneth Garlick. "A Catalogue of the Paintings, Drawings, and Pastels of Sir Thomas Lawrence." Walpole Society 39 (1964), pp. 46–47, 220, 322.
Calvin Tomkins. Merchants and Masterpieces: The Story of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1970, p. 190 [rev., enl. ed., 1989].
Michael Levey. Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1769–1830. Exh. cat., National Portrait Gallery. 1979, pp. 74–75, no. 41, ill.
Kenneth Garlick. "The Glamour of Lawrence." Apollo 111 (January 1980), p. 67.
David Ekserdjian. "Head and Shoulders Above the Rest." Spectator (July 8, 1989), p. 35, calls it one of the very few signed works by Lawrence, noting that "it is initialled TL on the red ribbon at its base".
Kenneth Garlick. Sir Thomas Lawrence: A Complete Catalogue of the Oil Paintings. Oxford, 1989, pp. 24, 26, 161, no. 152, colorpl. 89, states that it was bought in at the 1886 Christie's sale.
John Wilson. "The Romantics, 1790–1830." The British Portrait, 1660–1960. Woodbridge, England, 1991, pp. 295–97, colorpl. 52, reads the gestures and tondo form as an homage to Michelangelo.
J. M. H. Lewis. The Lewis Family, Art and Travel: Five Generations of Artists. n.p., , p. 4, states that Lawrence paid Frederick Christian Lewis eighty guineas for engraving this picture [Lewis actually engraved a preliminary drawing for the painting].
Kenneth Garlick. Sir Thomas Lawrence: Portraits of an Age, 1790–1830. Exh. cat., Yale Center for British Art, New Haven. Alexandria, Va., 1993, pp. 36–37, no. 9, ill. (color).
Leonée Ormond in The Dictionary of Art. 18, New York, 1996, pp. 893–94.
Katharine Baetjer. "British Portraits in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 57 (Summer 1999), pp. 68–70, ill. p. 67 (color).
Ludmilla Jordanova. Nature Displayed: Gender, Science and Medicine 1760–1820. London, 1999, p. 43, states "here is nature at its least threatening, simplest, and most idealised, in the figures of two innocent girls".
Robyn Asleson in Great British Paintings from American Collections: Holbein to Hockney. Exh. cat., Yale Center for British Art, Yale University. New Haven, 2001, pp. 10, 146–49, no. 40, ill. (color).
Julius Bryant. Kenwood: Paintings in the Iveagh Bequest. New Haven, 2003, pp. 3, 279, 281, fig. 4.
Patrick Noon in Patrick Noon. Crossing the Channel: British and French Painting in the Age of Romanticism. Exh. cat., Tate Britain. London, 2003, pp. 188–89, no. 105, ill. (color), notes that Lawrence sent the picture to Paris, where Delacroix saw it, and where a lithograph was made for circulation in France.
Michael Levey. Sir Thomas Lawrence. New Haven, 2005, pp. 9, 118, 248, 250–52, 316, 318, 334 nn. 50, 52, 54, 56, colorpl. 134, suggests that an etching after Carlo Maratta of the Christ Child flanked by angels may have influenced the composition, also mentioning Reynolds's "Puck" (Executors of 10th Earl Fitzwilliam) as a source for Laura Anne's frontal pose and upraised hand; refers to the younger girl as Laura.
Katharine Baetjer in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Chefs-d'œuvre de la peinture européenne. Exh. cat., Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Martigny, 2006, pp. 17–18 [Catalan ed., Barcelona, 2006, p. 18].
Mirjam Neumeister in The Changing Face of Childhood: British Children's Portraits and their Influence in Europe. Exh. cat., Städel Museum, Frankfurt. London, 2007, pp. 28, 87, 150, 184–87, 194, no. 25, ill. in color pp. 4 (detail) and 185, calls the embrace of the Allen brothers in Raeburn's portrait of about 1790 (Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth) a precursor to that of the Calmady sisters, which in turn influenced the poses of Prince Alfred and Princess Helena in Winterhalter's portrait of 1849 (Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II); states that the composition is probably based on Raphael's "Madonna della sedia" (Palazzo Pitti, Florence); calls the younger girl Anne.
Katharine Baetjer. British Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1575–1875. New York, 2009, pp. 215–17, no. 106, ill. (color).
A. Cassandra Albinson in Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power & Brilliance. Exh. cat., National Portrait Gallery, London. New Haven, 2010, pp. xix, 179, 181, 192, 254–57, 288, no. 46, ill. (color).
Lucy Peltz and Peter Funnell in Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power & Brilliance. Exh. cat., National Portrait Gallery, London. New Haven, 2010, p. 219.
Marcia Pointon in Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power & Brilliance. Exh. cat., National Portrait Gallery, London. New Haven, 2010, pp. 55, 60, 62–63, 72, 78, 80–81 nn. 4, 27, fig. 46 (color detail), mentions Lawrence's repeated motif of a child with one arm raised that he had adapted from Reynolds's "The Child Baptist in the Wilderness" (Wallace Collection, London).
Malcolm Warner. "Books: British Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." Burlington Magazine 153 (April 2011), p. 257, reviews Ref. Baetjer 2009.