"New Acquisitions of Pictures." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 9 (March 1914), pp. 75–77, ill., calls it one of a series of nine pictures said to have been in the collection of the Miari family since the eighteenth century.
Ancient Italian Art Treasures of Extraordinary Artistic and Historical Interest. American Art Galleries, New York. December 17–19, 1917, unpaginated, under nos. 441–46, identifies the four MMA paintings, as well as pictures in the National Gallery, London, the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan, and six works included in this sale catalogue, as from a series of twenty works painted for the Gambardi family of Florence; gives provenance information for the series.
Aldo Ravà. Pietro Longhi. Florence, 1923, ill. p. 35.
Lionello Venturi. Pitture italiane in America. Milan, 1931, unpaginated, pl. CCCCXXXI.
Lionello Venturi. "Sixteenth to Eighteenth Century." Italian Paintings in America. 3, New York, 1933, unpaginated, pl. 602, erroneously refers to it as "The Reading" (i.e., "The Letter").
Margaret D. Sloane. "A Genre Scene by Longhi." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 31 (March 1936), p. 52, repeats the provenance information given in Ref. Volpi 1917.
Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, p. 293, ill. p. 295, repeats the provenance information given in Ref. Volpi 1917.
Marian Davis. "Two Eighteenth Century Paintings: A Fete Galante by Pater and a Scene from Everyday Life by Longhi." Worcester Art Museum Annual 5 (1946), pp. 60–61, fig. 13, accepts the Gambardi provenance and the connection with the London, Milan, and ex-Volpi pictures; dates the series to the artist's middle or late period, 1750–70.
Antonio Morassi. "Una mostra del Settecento veneziano a Detroit." Arte veneta 7 (1953), p. 55.
Michael Levey. The Eighteenth Century Italian Schools. London, 1956, p. 72 nn. 7, 10, p. 74 n. 7, notes that there is no evidence to confirm the provenance given in Ref. Volpi 1917, and that "Exhibition of a Rhinoceros at Venice" (National Gallery, London; no. 1101), which must date from 1751 or later, cannot have formed part of the same series as this work, dated 1746.
Vittorio Moschini. Pietro Longhi. Milan, 1956, pp. 22, 60, pl. 65.
Francesco Valcanover. "Affreschi sconosciuti di Pietro Longhi." Paragone 7 (January 1956), p. 25 n. 1, lists the "bellissima" series at the MMA, noting that there are preparatory drawings in the Museo Correr, Venice.
Carlo Donzelli. I pittori veneti del Settecento. Florence, 1957, p. 135.
Michael Levey. Painting in XVIII Century Venice. London, 1959, p. 112, fig. 52.
Rodolfo Pallucchini. La pittura veneziana del Settecento. Venice, 1960, p. 181.
Terisio Pignatti. Pietro Longhi. Venice, 1968, pp. 61, 89, 92–94, pl. 76 [English ed., "Pietro Longhi: Paintings and Drawings," London: Phaidon, 1969, pp. 49, 77, 80–82, pl. 76], calls it "La visita alla dama" ("A Lady Receives Visitors") and notes that it seems to come from the Gambardi collection; reproduces a preparatory drawing for the rear wall (pl. 77; Museo Correr, Venice, no. 547).
Jean Cailleux. "The Literature of Art: The Art of Pietro Longhi." Burlington Magazine 111 (September 1969), p. 567.
Michael Levey. The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Italian Schools. London, 1971, p. 154 nn. 9, 14, p. 156 n. 12, pp. 158–59.
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 108, 496, 606.
Federico Zeri with the assistance of Elizabeth E. Gardner. Italian Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Venetian School. New York, 1973, p. 38, pl. 41.
Fern Rusk Shapley. "Italian Schools: XVI–XVIII Century." Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. 3, London, 1973, pp. 136–37, under no. K393, dates all four pictures 1746, finding them "completely homogenous in style".
Terisio Pignatti. L'opera completa di Pietro Longhi. Milan, 1974, pp. 88, 94, no. 43, ill. p. 89 and colorpl. XVII.
Rolf Bagemihl. "Pietro Longhi and Venetian Life." Metropolitan Museum Journal 23 (1988), pp. 233, 236, 243, fig. 1, erroneously gives the date appearing on the picture as 1745; discusses the subject matter, interpreting it as a scene of courtship; identifies the male figures as, from left to right, the lady's escort, her husband, her music or dance teacher, and the family chaplain; finds erotic overtones in the action of the escort offering a biscuit to the dog.
Giorgio Fossaluzza et al. in Pietro Longhi. Exh. cat., Museo Correr, Venice. Milan, 1993, pp. 114, 116, 130, 170, accepts the Gambardi provenance.
Marianne Roland Michel. Chardin. Paris, 1994, p. 253, ill. [English ed., New York, 1996].
Paul Mitchell and Lynn Roberts. Frameworks: Form, Function & Ornament in European Portrait Frames. London, 1996, p. 450 n. 20.
Katharine Baetjer in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Chefs-d'œuvre de la peinture européenne. Exh. cat., Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Martigny, 2006, p. 52 [Catalan ed., Barcelona, 2006, p. 36].