Pastoral visit of Bishop Roberto Folchi. May 1, 1493, unpaginated [Archivio di Stato, Florence, Notarile ante-cosimiano 3264; published in Ref. Brucker 2007], records it above the high altar of the church of Santa Maria di Vincigliata.
Giorgio Vasari. Le vite de piu eccellenti architetti, pittori, et scultori italiani. Florence, 1550, vol. 1, part 2, p. 400, states that Lippi painted for Alessandro Alessandri "per la sua chiesa a Vincigliata nel poggio di Fiesole una tavola con un Santo Lorenzo, & altri santi, nella quale ritrasse lui & due suoi figliuoli".
Giorgio Vasari. Le vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed architettori. 1906 ed. Florence, 1568, vol. 2, pp. 626–27, states that Lippi painted it for Alessandri's "chiesa di villa a Vincigliata".
Inventory. 1678 [published in (Giovanni Baroni), Il castello di Vincigliata e i suoi contorni, Florence, 1871, p. 51], records it as a single rectangular panel in the church of Santa Maria di Vincigliata.
Inventory. 1682 [published in (Giovanni Baroni), Il castello di Vincigliata e i suoi contorni, Florence, 1871, pp. 51–52], records it as a single panel in the church of Santa Maria di Vincigliata, attached to the back wall, high up; identifies the saints as Lawrence (center), flanked by Cosmas and Damian, with Augustine and Anthony Abbot on the outer edges.
J. A. Crowe and G. B. Cavalcaselle. A History of Painting in Italy from the Second to the Fourteenth Century. 2, London, 1864, p. 348, as in the Casa Alessandri, Florence; note that the central panel was originally square but cut into a round form and detached from the wings.
Giorgio Vasari. Le vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed architettori. 2, 1906 ed. Florence, 1878, p. 627 n. 1, observes that the altarpiece has been cut apart, with the center made into a tondo and the lateral saints—tentatively identified as Anthony and Benedict—joined as a single work.
Bernhard Berenson. The Florentine Painters of the Renaissance. New York, 1896, p. 118, lists the central panel as by Filippo Lippi, in the Palazzo Alessandri, Florence.
Edward C. Strutt. Fra Filippo Lippi. London, 1901, pp. 83, 197, assigns the central panel to Lippi's "second Florentine Period," 1441–52, and calls it a tondo that may have originally been rectangular; identifies the two lateral saints as Anthony and Benedict and states that they are in the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.
I. B. Supino. Fra Filippo Lippi. Florence, 1902, p. 71, ill. (central panel), dates it soon after 1440 and identifies the Alessandri sons on the left as Jacopo and Antonio; states that the lateral saints are still in the Alessandri palazzo; illustrates the central panel framed as a tondo.
Jacob Burckhardt. Der Cicerone: Eine Anleitung zum Genuss der Kunstwerke Italiens. part 2, 3, Leipzig, 1904, p. 651, dates it soon after 1440.
Henriette Mendelsohn. Fra Filippo Lippi. Berlin, 1909, pp. 74–76, 258, ill. (central panel), dates it 1435–40; calls the two lateral saints possibly Anthony and Benedict.
Joseph Archer Crowe and Giovanni Battista Cavalcaselle. "Florentine Masters of the Fifteenth Century." A History of Painting in Italy: Umbria, Florence and Siena from the Second to the Sixteenth Century. 4, London, 1911, p. 173.
Adolfo Venturi. "La pittura del quattrocento." Storia dell'arte italiana. 7, part 1, Milan, 1911, pp. 368, 370, calls the central panel an early work and compares it to the "Madonna del Ceppo" by Lippi in the Galleria Comunale di Palazzo Pretorio, Prato.
Bernard Berenson. Letter to J. Pierpont Morgan. 1912, attributes it to Lippi, dates it about 1440, and identifies the Alessandri sons on the left as Jacopo and Antonio.
B[ryson]. B[urroughs]. "Additions to the Loan Exhibition of Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 8 (February 1913), p. 34, ill. p. 33, dates it about 1440–45; tentatively identifes the left lateral saint as Benedict.
Collection of Mediaeval and Renaissance Paintings. Cambridge, Mass., 1919, p. 57.
Richard Offner. "A Remarkable Exhibition of Italian Paintings." Arts 5 (May 1924), p. 257, considers it an early work, dating it a few years before 1437.
W. R. Valentiner. A Catalogue of Early Italian Paintings Exhibited at the Duveen Galleries New York: April to May, 1924. New York, 1926, unpaginated, nos. 5–6, ill., identifies the left lateral saint as Benedict.
Raimond van Marle. "The Renaissance Painters of Florence in the 15th Century." The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting. 10, The Hague, 1928, pp. 406–8, fig. 247 (central panel), identifies the lateral saints as Benedict and Anthony; notes the influence of Fra Angelico and a connection in style with two panels in the National Gallery, London (nos. 666, 667).
[Georg] Gronau in Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. 23, Leipzig, 1929, p. 272, dates it about 1433–35; identifies the lateral saints as Anthony and Benedict.
Lionello Venturi. Pitture italiane in America. Milan, 1931, unpaginated, pls. CLXXVI–II, dates it to Lippi's early period, before 1437; identifies the lateral saints as Benedict and Anthony and erroneously states that they must originally have been arched.
Bernhard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Oxford, 1932, p. 288, lists it as in great part the work of Lippi; identifies the lateral saints as Anthony Abbot and a bishop saint.
Bernardo Berenson. "Fra Angelico, Fra Filippo, e la cronologia." Bollettino d'arte 26 (July 1932), pp. 12, 14, 16, fig. 6, groups it with pictures showing the influence of Fra Angelico and dates it not before 1442; does not identify the left lateral saint.
Bernard Berenson. Letter to Belle Greene. March 8, 1932, rejects the 1932 listing [see Ref. "Italian Pictures of the Renaissance"] as a clerical error, and attributes it to Lippi.
Lionello Venturi. "Fifteenth Century Renaissance." Italian Paintings in America. 2, New York, 1933, unpaginated, pls. 206–7, dates it about 1435.
Lionello Venturi. "Lo sviluppo artistico di Filippo Lippi." L'arte 36 (January 1933), pp. 43–44, ill. p. 41 (details), dates it about 1435 and identifies the Alessandri sons on the left as Giovanni and Jacopo.
Harry B. Wehle. "The Saint Lawrence Altarpiece by Fra Filippo Lippi." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 30 (December 1935), pp. 239–45, figs. 1–4 (overall and details), remarks that portions of the central panel were once concealed by a circular frame, though not cut down; accepts Venturi's [see Ref. (L'arte) 1933] dating and identification of the Alessandri sons; calls the left lateral figure "probably Saint Benedict as abbot of Monte Cassino".
Bernhard Berenson. Pitture italiane del rinascimento. Milan, 1936, p. 247.
Georg Pudelko. "Per la datazione delle opere di Fra Filippo Lippi." Rivista d'arte 18 (1936), p. 46, accepts the dating suggested by Berenson [see Ref. (Bollettino d'arte) 1932].
Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, pp. 26–28, ill., believes it originally included at least two more parts now missing, probably a kneeling saint on the left and a standing one on the right.
Duveen Pictures in Public Collections of America. New York, 1941, unpaginated, no. 45, ill. (central panel), dates it about 1435; calls the lateral saints Lawrence and Benedict.
Robert Oertel. Fra Filippo Lippi. Vienna, 1942, p. 69, no. 68, fig. 68 (central panel), considers it close to the "Madonna del Ceppo" in Prato and dates it not before 1445; observes that Alessandri dedicated the central panel to the patron saints of the Medici, and that it is a prototype for related compositions by Neri di Bicci, who had contact with Lippi in 1454; tentatively identifies the left lateral saint as Benedict.
Richard Offner. A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting. 5, section 3, New York, 1947, p. 198 n. 2, p. 286, groups it with altarpieces in which the central panel shows an enthroned saint instead of the Madonna and Child.
Mary Pittaluga. Filippo Lippi. Florence, 1949, pp. 74, 210, figs. 47–48, accepts the dating suggested by Berenson [see Ref. (Bollettino d'arte) 1932].
George Kaftal. Iconography of the Saints in Tuscan Painting. Florence, 1952, cols. 289, 613, fig. 333 (central panel).
Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Florentine School. London, 1963, vol. 1, p. 113, calls the left lateral saint Benedict.
John Pope-Hennessy. The Portrait in the Renaissance. Princeton, 1966, p. 258, notes the greatly reduced scale of the donor portraits.
Bernard Berenson. Homeless Paintings of the Renaissance. Bloomington, 1970, pp. 208–10, 212, 228–29, 253, pl. 375 [similar text as Ref. Berenson (Bollettino d'arte) 1932].
Calvin Tomkins. Merchants and Masterpieces: The Story of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1970, p. 224 [rev., enl. ed., 1989].
Federico Zeri with the assistance of Elizabeth E. Gardner. Italian Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Florentine School. New York, 1971, pp. 88–91, ill., date it mid-1440s and identify the Alessandri sons as Jacopo and Antonio; call the left lateral saint Benedict.
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 106, 372, 378, 389, 422, 538, 607, question the identification of the left lateral saint as Benedict.
Giuseppe Marchini. Filippo Lippi. Milan, 1975, pp. 26, 98, 163, 168, 206, no. 28, figs. 50–52.
Jeffrey Ruda Harvard University. Filippo Lippi Studies: Naturalism, Style and Iconography in Early Renaissance Art. New York, 1982, p. 127 n. 8.
Eliot Wooldridge Rowlands. "Filippo Lippi's Stay in Padua and its Impact on his Art." PhD diss., Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., 1983, pp. x, 41, 161 n. 152, fig. 28, dates it mid-1440s and compares it to the Madonna and Child by Lippi in the MMA (49.7.9).
Jeffrey Ruda. Fra Filippo Lippi: Life and Work, with a Complete Catalogue. London, 1993, pp. 169, 316, 386, 416, 429–32, 442, 485, no. 39, colorpls. 96, 102 (central panel and detail), pls. 268–70, dates it mid-1440s to early 1450s; compares it to Lippi's "Madonna del Ceppo" in Prato and comments on the conservative aspects of the composition, including the hierarchic scaling and extensive use of gold; tentatively agrees with the identification of the lateral saints as Benedict and Anthony Abbot.
Jean Strouse. Morgan: American Financier. New York, 1999, p. 7, reports that in December 1912, Morgan was in the process of buying it for $200,000.
Megan Holmes. Fra Filippo Lippi: The Carmelite Painter. New Haven, 1999, pp. 116–17, 126, 135, 268 nn. 74–75, 77, 80, figs. 97a, 97b (color), 97c, 119 (color detail), dates it to the early 1450s.
Jean Strouse. "J. Pierpont Morgan, Financier and Collector." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 57 (Winter 2000), pp. 52–55, fig. 64 (color, cental panel), dates it about 1440 in the text and probably late 1440s in the caption; discusses Morgan's acquisition of the altarpiece.
Miklós Boskovits in Italian Paintings of the Fifteenth Century. Washington, 2003, p. 29 n. 45.
Daniele Sanguineti in Filippo Lippi: un trittico ricongiunto. Exh. cat., Pinacoteca dell'Accademia Albertina. Turin, 2004, p. 37, fig. 13 (Saint Anthony Abbot).
Keith Christiansen in From Filippo Lippi to Piero della Francesca: Fra Carnevale and the Making of a Renaissance Master. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2005, pp. 54, 150, 156, 292–93 n. 47, fig. 15 (central panel) [Italian ed., "Fra Carnevale: un artista rinascimentale da Filippo Lippi a Piero della Francesca," Milan, 2004, pp. 54, 150, 156, 292, 294 n. 47, fig. 15], dates it about 1450 and notes its Gothicizing elements.
Linda Wolk-Simon. "Raphael at the Metropolitan: The Colonna Altarpiece." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 63 (Spring 2006), pp. 55, 62 n. 99.
Gene Brucker. "I Tatti and its Neighbors, 1427–1530." I Tatti Studies 11 (2007), pp. 62–64 n. 29, argues that the altarpiece was made for the church of Santa Maria a Vincigliata rather than for a chapel within the Alessandri villa, noting that the first edition of Vasari's "Vite" refers to Alessandri's "chiesa a Vincigliata" instead of the "chiesa di villa" mentioned in the 1568 edition, that Santa Maria a Vincigliata still has a chapel of Saint Lawrence and that this saint was added to the overall dedication of the church in the seventeenth century, and that the church's orientation was reversed in 1790, the period when the altarpiece was removed to the Alessandri family's palazzo in Florence; calls the identification of the second son (Jacopo?) and the saint on the left (Benedict?) uncertain; states that although the altarpiece is usually dated to the 1440s, the presence of the Medici saints may indicate a connection with the Alessandri-Medici marriage alliance of 1453 [see Ref. Oertel 1942].
Jennifer Tonkovich. "Discovering the Renaissance: Pierpont Morgan's Shift to Collecting Italian Old Masters." A Market for Merchant Princes: Collecting Italian Renaissance Paintings in America. University Park, Pa., 2015, pp. 45–46, fig. 23 (photograph of it hanging in Pierpont Morgan's study).