Michael Jaffé. "'Paintings from Irish Collections'." Burlington Magazine 99 (August 1957), p. 276, fig. 36, calls the attribution to Sebastiano Ricci certain.
Francis Haskell. Patrons and Painters: A Study in the Relations between Italian Art and Society in the Age of the Baroque. New York, 1963, p. 280 n. 3, mentions it as a sketch for a work commissioned by the 2nd Earl of Portland for the chapel of his country house, Bulstrode Park.
Egidio Martini. La pittura veneziana del Settecento. Venice, 1964, p. 161 n. 46, as formerly in the collection of Sir Shane Leslie; calls it and the Last Supper (National Gallery of Art, Washington) probably sketches for works executed by Ricci for the church of the Cappuccine di Castello; confuses it with the version formerly in the Paul Drey Gallery, New York, and mentions another version on the art market in Vienna in 1961.
Edward Croft-Murray. "The Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries." Decorative Painting in England, 1537–1837. 2, Feltham, England, 1970, pp. 15, 266, mistakenly illustrates the Drey version as this one; dates the decoration of the chapel at Bulstrode House to 1713–14 and notes that it was apparently destroyed sometime after 1847; mentions a version in the collection of John Harris; tentatively lists two sketches for the Ascension on the ceiling of the chapel (Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead; and Sir James Thornhill sale, February 25, 1734/35, no. 93; possibly one and the same work).
Fern Rusk Shapley. "Italian Schools: XVI–XVIII Century." Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. 3, London, 1973, pp. 127–28 n. 6, as in an Italian private collection; confuses it with the Drey version; notes that the trompe l'oeil frame acts as a proscenium arch and testifies to Ricci's interest in theatre art.
Jeffery Daniels. "Letter to the editor." Apollo 98 (August 1973), p. 158, notes that three sketches for the Baptism of Christ survive; accepts the Gateshead picture as Ricci's sketch for the Ascension.
Jacob Simon. English Baroque Sketches. Exh. cat., Marble Hill House, Twickenham. London, 1974, unpaginated, under nos. 71 and 72, as in an Italian private collection; tentatively accepts the Gateshead Ascension as Ricci's sketch for the Bulstrode chapel.
Jeffery Daniels. "Letters: The Gateshead 'Ascension'." Burlington Magazine 117 (August 1975), p. 547, fig. 70 (detail), defends the attribution of the Gateshead work to Ricci.
Rodolfo Pallucchini. "Sebastiano Ricci e il rococò europeo." Atti del Congresso internazionale di studi su Sebastiano Ricci e il suo tempo. [Milan], [1976?], p. 14.
Jeffery Daniels. "Sebastiano Ricci in England." Atti del Congresso internazionale di studi su Sebastiano Ricci e il suo tempo. [Milan], [1976?], p. 72.
Giuseppe Maria Pilo. Sebastiano Ricci e la pittura veneziana del Settecento. Pordenone, 1976, p. 98 n. 156, pp. 99–100 n. 159, on the basis of style, rejects the idea that the Drey and Washington sketches were made for the Bulstrode chapel, dating them to the mid-1720s at the earliest and accepting Martini's [see Ref. 1964] association of them with the lost paintings from the church of the Cappuccine di Castello.
Jeffery Daniels. Sebastiano Ricci. Hove, England, 1976, pp. 39–41, 62, 80, 111–12, 153, no. 400, fig. 121, dates it 1713–14; identifies the trompe l'oeil figure at right as Penitence holding a scourge and a fish and that at left as either Meekness or Saint Agnes holding a lamb; suggests that Marco Ricci, Sebastiano's nephew, may have been responsible for the background of the trees and the architectural framework for the Bulstrode work, and may even have painted the architectural framework in the sketch itself.
Francesca D'Arcais. "Un libro su Sebastiano Ricci." Arte veneta 30 (1976), p. 256, finds the Gateshead Ascension too different from the two Baptism sketches and the Last Supper to be attributed to Ricci.
Jeffery Daniels. L'opera completa di Sebastiano Ricci. Milan, 1976, pp. 10, 85, 117–18, no. 322, ill.
Jeffery Daniels. Works by Sebastiano Ricci from British Collections. Exh. cat., Colnaghi. London, 1978, unpaginated, under no. 11.
Theodore Crombie. "Round the Galleries: Settecento Selections." Apollo 107 (February 1978), p. 144.
Fern Rusk Shapley. Catalogue of the Italian Paintings. Washington, 1979, vol. 1, pp. 400, 402 n. 6.
Keith Christiansen in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1981–1982. New York, , p. 42, ill. (color), remarks that "the kneeling figure at the left is based on the famous Hellenistic statue of a crouching Scythian slave sharpening his knife".
Egidio Martini. La pittura del Settecento veneto. Udine, 1982, p. 479 n. 60, calls the version in the Harris collection a weak copy of the MMA work and not by Ricci.
Jeffery Daniels. "Nicola Grassi and Sebastiano Ricci, The Influence of Sebastiano Ricci on Nicola Grassi: Direct or Indirect?" Nicola Grassi e il Rococò europeo. Udine, 1984, p. 109.
Elizabeth Einberg. Manners & Morals: Hogarth and British Painting 1700–1760. Exh. cat., Tate Gallery. London, 1987, pp. 13, 39, 103, no. 11, ill. (color).
Master Paintings: Recent Acquisitions. Exh. cat., Thos. Agnew and Sons Ltd. London, 1989, p. 76, under no. 36, publishes a "hitherto unknown" version of the Bulstrode Baptism from a private collection, Lincolnshire [now in the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Mass.]; notes that Jeffery Daniels saw the work and considered it most similar to the MMA painting.
Robert B. Simon with Frank Dabell in Important Old Master Paintings: Devotion and Delight. Exh. cat., Piero Corsini, Inc. New York, Fall 1989, p. 112, fig. 5.
Aldo Rizzi. Sebastiano Ricci. Exh. cat., Villa Manin di Passariano. Milan, 1989, pp. 126–27, no. 36, ill. (color).
Hans Werner Grohn in Venedigs Ruhm im Norden. Exh. cat., Forum des Landesmuseums Hannover. Hanover, 1991, p. 224, under no. 68.
Rodolfo Pallucchini. La pittura nel Veneto: il Settecento. 1, Milan, 1995, p. 38.
Eric Garberson in Italian Paintings of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Washington, 1996, pp. 230–31, 234 n. 6, p. 235 nn. 15, 17–18, confuses the various versions of the Bulstrode Baptism; states that he finds the Washington Last Supper most closely related to the Fogg version of the Baptism [but he mistakenly illustrates the Drey picture as the Fogg work], that the Fogg [Drey?] painting predates the other versions, and that the Harris Baptism may be a copy after the Fogg [Drey?] picture.
Stephan Wolohojian in "A Decade of Collecting: Recent Acquisitions by the Harvard University Art Museums." Harvard University Art Museums Bulletin 7 (Spring 2000), p. 54, calls the Fogg version "the most worked and polished of the three surviving studies" and adds that it is closely related to the Washington Last Supper.
Annalisa Scarpa. Sebastiano Ricci. Milan, 2006, pp. 38, 170, 200, 258–59, 343, 352, no. 330, fig. 449, conflates the Fogg and Drey versions.
Xavier F. Salomon in Sebastiano Ricci: il trionfo dell'invenzione nel Settecento veneziano. Exh. cat., Fondazione Giorgio Cini. Venice, 2010, pp. 72–73, no. 14, ill. (color).
Annalisa Scarpa. "Suggestioni e ispirazioni nell'arte di Sebastiano Ricci." Sebastiano Ricci, 1659–1734. Venice, 2012, pp. 158, 160, 171 n. 3, fig. 6, continues to conflate the Fogg and Drey versions.
Xavier F. Salomon. "Sebastiano Ricci e la decorazione della cappella del Royal Hospital a Chelsea." Sebastiano Ricci, 1659–1734. Venice, 2012, pp. 303, 307 n. 29, fig. 9.