H[arry]. B. W[ehle]. "Bequests of Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16 (December 1921), p. 263, calls this a Flemish work from about 1520, probably by the same hand as the similar Adoration in the Brussels Museum (Museés Royaux des Beaux-Arts).
Harry B. Wehle and Margaretta Salinger. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Early Flemish, Dutch and German Paintings. New York, 1947, p. 127, ill., ascribe it to an Antwerp Mannerist about 1520; note that a cruder version is in the Johnson Collection in the Philadelphia Museum (no. 383) and a version dated 1519 is in the Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe (no. 145).
Erik Larsen. Les primitifs flamands au Musée Metropolitain de New York. Utrecht, 1960, p. 93.
Colin Eisler. "Erik Larsen, Les primitifs flamands au Musée Metropolitain de New York, 1960." Art Bulletin 46 (March 1964), p. 104.
Georges Marlier. Pierre Coeck d'Alost. Brussels, 1966, p. 144.
Susan Urbach. Early Netherlandish Painting. New York, 1971, unpaginated, no. 33, illustrates and discusses an example of this composition in the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, which she presumes to have been the central panel of a triptych and ascribes to an Antwerp Mannerist, about 1520; mentions other versions in the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen [now in Bamberg] and in a private collection, Madrid; notes that our version is the closest to the one in Budapest and that they can be presumed to have been made in the same workshop after the same prototype.
John G. Johnson Collection: Catalogue of Flemish and Dutch Paintings. Philadelphia, 1972, p. 55.
Dan Chalmer Ewing. "The Paintings and Drawings of Jan de Beer." PhD diss., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1978, p. 173, no. 3, lists our picture with other versions of this Adoration, proposing that the original was a lost work by Jan de Beer.
Susanne Urbach in Eva Szmodis-Eszláry and Susanne Urbach. Middeleeuwse Nederlandse Kunst uit Hongarije. Ed. Onno Helleman. Exh. cat., Museum Catharijneconvent. Utrecht, 1990, p. 22.
Véronique Sintobin in From Van Eyck to Bruegel: Early Netherlandish Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Maryan W. Ainsworth and Keith Christiansen. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1998, pp. 260–61, 314, no. 67, ill. (color), notes that the elaborate costumes of the magi are unrelated to contemporary fashion and reflect instead theatre costume of the time; adds that the staged arrangement of the figures may also derive from tableau vivants performed in churches and processions.
John Oliver Hand. Joos van Cleve: The Complete Paintings. New Haven, 2004, pp. 46, 206 n. 18, considers the Magi appearing in the many Adorations by Antwerp Mannerists generic types with only minor variations.