Salomon Reinach. Répertoire de peintures du moyen age et de la renaissance (1280–1580). 4, Paris, 1918, p. 652, no. 1, ill. (engraving), attributes it to Lotto and calls it "Venus et Cupidon 'mingens'"; as in the Granet collection, Paris, in 1912.
Bernhard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Oxford, 1932, p. 310, lists it as "Allegory of Venus and Cupid" by Lotto; incorrectly gives the location as the Grasset bequest to the Louvre.
Bernhard Berenson. Pitture italiane del rinascimento. Milan, 1936, p. 266.
Anna Banti and Antonio Boschetto. Lorenzo Lotto. Florence, , p. 113, tentatively identify it with Lotto's "Lo sposalizio d'amore," mentioned by Ridolfi in 1648 as in the Tassi collection, Bergamo.
Bernard Berenson. Lotto. 3rd ed. Milan, 1955, pp. 112–13, pl. 258 [English ed., "Lorenzo Lotto," New York, 1956, p. 83, pl. 258], tentatively dates it 1532, comparing it with Lotto's "Triumph of Chastity" (Galleria Pallavicini, Rome) and with contemporary Fontainebleau paintings.
Piero Bianconi. Tutta la pittura di Lorenzo Lotto. Milan, 1955, p. 79 [English ed., "All the Paintings of Lorenzo Lotto," 2 vols., New York, 1963, vol. 2, p. 106], lists it with pictures attributed to Lotto by Berenson.
Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Venetian School. London, 1957, vol. 1, p. 104.
Giordana Mariani Canova in L'opera completa del Lotto. Milan, 1975, p. 125, no. 379, judging from a photograph, questions Berenson's attribution to Lotto.
Francesca Cortesi Bosco. Gli affreschi dell'Oratorio Suardi: Lorenzo Lotto nella crisi della Riforma. Bergamo, 1980, p. 145 n. 69, fig. 155, accepts Berenson's attribution to Lotto, but dates it closer to his Bergamask period (1513–25); compares it with a Venus by Luini in the Gerli collection, Milan; finds much of the symbolism of the painting, including Cupid's action, to be based on alchemy.
Ernst H. Gombrich. Letter to John Pope-Hennessy. December 31, 1984, discusses the iconography; mentions a suggestion from Charles Hope that the painting might be a pendant to the Pallavicini "Triumph of Chastity".
Keith Christiansen. "Lorenzo Lotto and the Tradition of Epithalamic Painting." Apollo 124 (September 1986), pp. 166–73, colorpl. 1, figs. 1–3 (details), dates it to the mid-1520s; rejects the suggestion that it was a pendant to the Pallavicini "Triumph of Chastity" [see Ref. Gombrich 1984]; discusses the iconography, stating that the work was painted for a wedding and that it is based on the ancient genre of marriage poems (epithalamia); notes the "highly individual features" of Venus.
Charles Dempsey. Letter to Keith Christiansen. June 23, 1986, discusses the iconography.
John Russell. "Art: Warehoused Old Masters in Met Exhibition." New York Times (June 20, 1986), p. C24.
Görel Cavalli-Björkman. "Worship of Bacchus and Venus: Variations on a Theme." Bacchanals by Titian and Rubens. Stockholm, 1987, p. 99, fig. 5, dates it about 1530; accepts Christiansen's [see Ref. 1986] argument that the picture was inspired by an ancient marriage poem.
Francesca Cortesi Bosco. Il coro intarsiato di Lotto e Capoferri per Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo. Bergamo, 1987, p. 410, under no. 36, pl. 104, suggests that the roses may allude to the brevity of pleasure.
Everett Fahy in Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 1986–1987. New York, 1987, pp. 33–34, ill. (color), dates it to Lotto's Bergamask period; suggests that the figure of Venus may be a portrait, possibly of the bride for whose marriage the painting was made.
Calvin Tomkins. Merchants and Masterpieces: The Story of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. rev., enl. ed. New York, 1989, p. 390.
Milton Esterow. "Masterpiece Theater." Art News 89 (Summer 1990), pp. 136–37, ill. (color), repeats Everett Fahy's comments on the painting made during a lecture given at the Metropolitan Museum.
David Rosand. "Venereal Hermeneutics: Reading Titian's 'Venus of Urbino'." Renaissance Society and Culture: Essays in Honor of Eugene F. Rice, Jr. New York, 1991, p. 267 n. 10.
Rona Goffen. "Titian's 'Sacred and Profane Love' and Marriage." The Expanding Discourse: Feminism and Art History. New York, 1992, pp. 119–20, fig. 10, dates it about 1520, assuming that it was made for a local client in Bergamo since its explicitness would have been less acceptable in Venice; contrasting it to Titian's "Sacred and Profane Love" (Galleria Borghese, Rome), also a wedding picture, notes that Lotto focuses on the bride only in her reproductive role, whereas "Titian frees his woman's identity and her sexuality from this biological limitation".
Sylvie Béguin in Le siècle de Titien: L'âge d'or de la peinture à Venise. Exh. cat., Grand Palais. Paris, 1993, pp. 546–47, no. 154, ill. pp. 147 (color) and 546.
Rona Goffen. "Titian's 'Sacred and Profane Love': Individuality and Sexuality in a Renaissance Marriage Picture." Titian 500. Washington, 1993, pp. 131–32, 143 n. 51, fig. 12 [expanded version of Ref. Goffen 1992], assumes incorrectly that the painting known by Berenson was an "inferior variant" of the MMA work.
David Rosand. "'So-And-So Reclining on Her Couch'." Titian 500. Washington, 1993, pp. 109, 116 n. 10, fig. 8 [expanded version of Ref. Rosand 1991; reprinted in "Titian's 'Venus of Urbino'", Rona Goffen, ed., Cambridge, 1997, pp. 48, 58 n. 10, fig. 11], suggests that it might have hung in a bedroom over the bed, noting that Marcantonio Michiel recorded a reclining nude by Savoldo in just such a location.
Jacques Bonnet. Lorenzo Lotto. Paris, 1996, pp. 139–40, 196, no. 88, fig. 92 (color), dates it to the first years of the Venetian period (1525–32) on p. 139 and about 1532 on p. 196.
Jaynie Anderson. Giorgione: The Painter of "Poetic Brevity". Paris, 1997, p. 228, fig. 143 (color) [French ed., 1996], suggests that it may have been painted for the wedding of one of the children of Lotto's nephew Mario d'Armano [see also Ref. Humfrey 1997].
Rona Goffen. Titian's Women. New Haven, 1997, pp. 43–44, 305 n. 185, fig. 28, dates it about 1520.
Peter Humfrey. Lorenzo Lotto. New Haven, 1997, pp. 139–40, 145, 174 n. 34, pp. 177–78, colorpls. 142 (overall) and 144 (detail), and ill. on back of dust jacket (color), tentatively identifies it with a painting of Venus commissioned by Lotto's relative Mario d'Armano in September 1540, noting that Lotto later painted a Susannah and the Elders (lost) as a pendant for this picture; finds it stylistically consistent with Lotto's works from the late 1530s and early 1540s and suggests that it may show the influence of the Florentine Mannerist Francesco Salviati, active in Venice from 1539 to 1541.
Paola Tinagli. Women in Italian Renaissance Art: Gender, Representation, Identity. Manchester, 1997, pp. 144–45, 153 n. 38, fig. 56, dates it to Lotto's Bergamask period; believes that the symbolic objects were probably requested by the patron.
Jacqueline Marie Musacchio. The Art and Ritual of Childbirth in Renaissance Italy. New Haven, 1999, pp. 130–31, fig. 125.
Gregor M. Weber in Faszination Venus: Bilder einer Göttin von Cranach bis Cabanel. Exh. cat., Wallraf-Richartz-Museum. Cologne, 2000, p. 61, fig. 7, dates it 1540, identifying it with the Venus commissioned by Mario d'Armano.
Carlo Pirovano. Lotto. Milan, 2002, pp. 120, 184, no. 107, ill. (color and black and white), dates it about 1530.
Andrea Bayer. "North of the Apennines: Sixteenth-Century Italian Painting in Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 60 (Spring 2003), p. 16, fig. 9.
Nicholas Penny. "Paintings from Bergamo, Brescia and Cremona." The Sixteenth Century Italian Paintings. 1, London, 2004, pp. 50–51 n. 12, disagrees with Humfrey's [see Ref. 1997] dating of "1540?".
Andrea Bayer. "North of the Apennines: Sixteenth-Century Italian Painting in Venice and the Veneto." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 63 (Summer 2005), pp. 42, 44, fig. 36 (color).
Everett Fahy in The Wrightsman Pictures. New York, 2005, pp. 6–9, no. 2, ill. (color).
Jo Saxton. Nicolaus Knupfer, an Original Artist: Monograph and Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings and Drawings. Doornspijk, The Netherlands, 2005, p. 228, fig. 58, mentions it in connection with a drawing by Knupfer of Venus and Amor (MMA 1999.151ab), where Amor is urinating onto the floor.
Norberto Massi. "Lorenzo Lotto's New York 'Venus'." Watching Art: Writings in Honor of James Beck. Todi, 2006, pp. 167–70, colorpl. XII, fig. 1, dates it to Lotto's period in Bergamo, based on the fact that Venus's features seem Bergamask; discusses the symbolism of the picture in detail, describing the two wreaths as laurel, not myrtle, and Venus's headgear as a tiara, not a crown; identifies the girdle worn by Venus beneath her breasts as a "strophion," worn by Roman brides and tied in the back with a "Herculean knot" meant to be untied by the bridegroom on the wedding night; proposes that Cupid's action of urinating through a garland may be related to the story of a sixteenth-century Venetian folk healer who cured male impotence by having her patients "piss through the marriage ring of a virgin"; suggests that Venus's single earring might be a reference to the Venetian tradition that a sailor wearing a single earring was open to amorous advances from his companions.
Pierre Rosenberg. Only in America: One Hundred Paintings in American Museums Unmatched in European Collections. Milan, 2006, pp. 56–57, 232–33, ill. (color).
Eric Jan Sluijter. "'Les regards dards': Werner van den Valckert's 'Venus and Cupid'." In His Milieu: Essays on Netherlandish Art in Memory of John Michael Montias. Amsterdam, 2006, p. 435.
Andrea Bayer in Art and Love in Renaissance Italy. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2008, pp. 232, 236, 321–23, 332, no. 148, ill. (color), dates it to the late 1520s.
Beverly Louise Brown in Art and Love in Renaissance Italy. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2008, p. 242.
Everett Fahy in Art and Love in Renaissance Italy. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2008, pp. 26–27 n. 41.
Deborah L. Krohn in Art and Love in Renaissance Italy. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2008, pp. 62–63, 66, fig. 50 (color detail).
Jacqueline Marie Musacchio in Art and Love in Renaissance Italy. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2008, pp. 153, 159.
Dora Thornton in Art and Love in Renaissance Italy. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2008, p. 72.
Keith Christiansen in Philippe de Montebello and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1977–2008. New York, 2009, p. 36.
Everett Fahy in Philippe de Montebello and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1977–2008. New York, 2009, p. 33, fig. 43 (color).
Patricia Simons. "Manliness and the Visual Semiotics of Bodily Fluids in Early Modern Culture." Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 39 (Spring 2009), pp. 360, 373 nn. 105–6, fig. 12.
Margaret Binotto in Lorenzo Lotto. Exh. cat., Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome. Cinisello Balsamo, Milan, 2011, pp. 252–55, 258 nn. 35, 37, 46, 59, p. 259 n. 62, figs. 1, 2 (color, overall and detail).
Enrico Maria Dal Pozzolo in Paolo Veronese: l'illusione della realtà. Exh. cat., Palazzo della Gran Guardia, Verona. Milan, 2014, p. 208.