Gio[vanni]. Pietro Bellori. Vita di Guido Reni, d'Andrea Sacchi e di Carlo Maratti. n.d. [Bibliothèque Municipale, Rouen, ms. 2506; published in "Le vite inedite del Bellori," ed. Michelangelo Piacentini, Rome, vol. 1, 1942, p. 68], attributes this picture to Andrea Sacchi, noting that Marc'Antonio Pasqualini was a famous soprano and a close friend of Sacchi's in the court of Antonio Barberini; remarks that it is not a simple portrait but an extremely beautiful conceit ("vaghissimo componimento"); identifies Pasqualini's costume as that of a shepherd.
Pietro Rossini. Il Mercurio errante delle grandezze di Roma, tanto antiche, che moderne. 2nd rev. ed. Rome, 1700, p. 87, lists it in the collection of the marchese Niccolò Pallavicini in Rome.
Mrs. Richardson, père & fils. "Description de divers fameux tableaux, desseins, statues, bustes, bas-reliefs. . ." Traité de la peinture. 3, Amsterdam, 1728, vol. 3, p. 713, notes that it was purchased from the Pallavicini collection by "Monsieur Furness" (Robert Furnese).
Lione Pascoli. Vite de' pittori, scultori, ed architetti moderni. 1, Rome, 1730, p. 16, says that it was painted for the marchese Pallavicini and was recently sold by his heirs and sent to England.
Edward Wright. Some Observations Made in Travelling through France, Italy, &c. in the Years 1720, 1721, and 1722. London, 1730, p. 295, notes that the picture was copied by Pietro da Pietris [Pietro de' Pietri].
George Vertue. Unpublished manuscript. 24, 1740 [Notebook A.x., 1736–41; published in Walpole Society 24 (1935–36), p. 164], lists it among the pictures of Robert Furnes[e] that he saw on a visit to the collection of "the present Mr. Furnes[e]" [Henry] in 1740.
Horace Walpole. Journals of Visits to Country Seats. 16, 1751–58 [published in Walpole Society 16 (1927–28), p. 14], records it at Wimbledon sometime after 1758.
Horace Walpole. Letter to Sir Horace Mann. February 9, 1758 [published in "Horace Walpole's Correspondence with Sir Horace Mann," W.S. Lewis, ed., New Haven: Yale University Press, vol. 5, 1960, pp. 172–73 n. 17], mentions that it was purchased by John Spencer for £2200 with a Maratta [?sic for Guido Reni] at the auction of Henry Furnese's collection.
Charles Le Blanc. Catalogue de l'oeuvre de Robert Strange, graveur. Leipzig, 1848, pp. 28–29, 42, follows Strange's engraving of 1755 in calling it "Apollo Rewarding Merit and Punishing Arrogance".
A. Cametti. "Musicisti celebri del Seicento in Roma: Marc'Antonio Pasqualini." Musica d'oggi 3 (1921), p. 97, suggests dating it about 1645.
Hans Posse. Der Römische Maler Andrea Sacchi. Leipzig, 1925, pp.106–9, compares it to a theater scene, noting that it is known only through Strange's engraving; identifies a drawing in the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, as a preliminary study for the figure of Apollo.
Anthony Blunt and Hereward Lester Cooke. The Roman Drawings of the XVII & XVIII Centuries in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle. London, 1960, p. 67, catalogue Maratti's red chalk drawing after it.
Gerald Reitlinger. "The Rise and Fall of Picture Prices, 1760–1960." The Economics of Taste. , London, 1961, p. 8.
Kenneth Garlick. "The Earls Spencer, Althorp, England." Great Family Collections. New York, 1965, p. 211, as purchased with Guido Reni's "Liberality and Modesty" at the Furnese sale.
Ann Sutherland Harris and Eckhard Schaar. Die Handzeichnungen von Andrea Sacchi und Carlo Maratta. Düsseldorf, 1967, pp. 44–45, publish a sheet of studies for the drapery of Pasqualini which they date about 1634–35; note that the drawing mentioned by Posse is not for this picture; suggest that the MMA work may have been painted for Cardinal Giulio Rospigliosi, noting that Maratta may have known it when he first worked with Sacchi in 1636.
Frances Vivian. Il Console Smith mercante e collezionista. Vicenza, 1971, p. 8, states incorrectly that the picture was sold after the death of Pallavicini to Lord Spencer.
Clovis Whitfield. England and the Seicento. Exh. cat., Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. London, 1973, unpaginated, under no. 49, mentions its sale together with Guido Reni's "Liberality and Modesty" to John Spencer.
Giovanni Pietro Bellori. Le vite de' pittori, scultori e architetti moderni. Turin, 1976, p. 568 n. 3.
Kenneth Garlick. "A Catalogue of Pictures at Althorp." Walpole Society 45 (1976), pp. xiv, 41, 75–76, no. 579, pl. 28, notes that it has been considerably enlarged above and below; states that a copy of this picture is recorded in the 1783 catalogue of the Colonna collection (no. 894), and that it was copied twice by Charles Jervas, who inserted an identical keyboard instrument in his portrait of Elizabeth Churchill (no. 513).
Ann Sutherland Harris. Andrea Sacchi. Princeton, 1977, p. 46 n. 73, 55–56 n. 1, 82–84, no. 51, 91, fig. 89, notes that it cannot have been painted for the marchese Pallavicini, who was only born in 1650, as the picture probably dates to the late 1630s; believes this picture was intended to flatter Pasqualini's talents generally rather than to commemorate a particular occasion; speculates that Giulio Rospigliosi commissioned the work since "the allegorical content of the portrait and the obvious formal allusions to classical art, both rare in Sacchi's work, are also found in the works that Poussin painted for . . . Rospigliosi in the late 1630s"; states that about 15 cm have been added to the top and 30 cm to the bottom of the canvas, perhaps to make it closer to the size of Guido's painting [Liberality and Modesty] that hung opposite it at Althorp House; notes that Apollo's drapery has been extended to cover his genitals [this overpaint has since been removed]; discusses a number of copies and engravings after the work.
Andreina Griseri. "Arcadia: crisi e trasformazione fra Sei e Settecento." Storia dell'arte italiana. 6, part 2, vol. 2, Turin, 1981, p. 590, fig. 469, dates it 1636–40 and describe it as a work of "emblematic perfection".
Keith Christiansen in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1981–1982. New York, , pp. 40–41, ill. (color), reviews Pasqualini's career, interpreting the picture as an allegory of music that celebrates both Pasqualini's own achievements as a musician and the 'nuova musica,' with its emphasis on the accompanied voice; notes that it was "presumably" commissioned by Rospigliosi.
Franca Camiz. Letter to Keith Christiansen. June 28, 1982, comments on the close affinity between this work and the Barberini collection, pointing out that a similarly decorated instrument and table are mentioned in the Barberini inventories; notes that Margaret Murata discounts the possibility that the picture commemorates a specific opera, but confirms that the white tunic worn by Pasqualini is a choir tunic; suggests that the leopard skin may be a trophy that Apollo has taken from Marsyas and awarded to Pasqualini; mentions that she and Murata are puzzled by the Rospigliosi connection in earlier scholarship, as "he is not the type that would commission paintings".
Margaret Murata. Letter to Keith Christiansen. June 29, 1982, wonders whether the picture might not, after all, have been painted for Antonio Barberini; notes that Pasqualini's activity as a composer was more important than has been recognized; expresses discomfort with the idea that the picture represents the triumph of "nuove musiche" and conceives of it rather as the "confirmation of the new style by the classical figure [Apollo] that engendered it".
Howard M. Brown. Letter to Keith Christiansen. April 14, 1982, confirms that the instrument represented in the picture is a clavicytherium and suggests that the presence of Marsyas and Daphne on the instrument firmly connects it to Apollo.
Terry Ford. "Andrea Sacchi's 'Marc'Antonio Pasqualini Crowned by Apollo'." RIdlM Newsletter 7 (Spring 1982), pp. 2–7, ill., interprets the painting as an exaltation of the type of music Pasqualini played as well as his character; sees the three-legged table as a tripod, underscoring Pasqualini's virtuous character; identifies the instrument as a rare clavicytherium, or upright harpsichord [ill. and discussed in Marin Mersenne, Harmonie universelle, 1636–37, pp. 113–14].
Denys Sutton. "Aspects of British Collecting, Part II: V, New Trends." Apollo 116 (December 1982), pp. 361–62, 372 n. 17, fig. 8.
Michael Kitson. "Review of 'Tercentenary of Claude Lorrain'." Burlington Magazine 125 (March 1983), p. 186.
Terry Ford. "Andrea Sacchi's 'Apollo Crowning the Singer Marc Antonio Pasqualini'." Early Music 12 (February 1984), pp. 79–84, ill.
Andrew Porter. "Musical Events: Voices of Rome." New Yorker (May 21, 1984), p. 122, observes that "it seems to me a thoroughly Barberini picture in scale, spirit, and detailed content".
Antonio d'Avossa. Andrea Sacchi. Rome, 1985, fig. 54, erroneously locates it at Althorp House.
Frederick Hammond. "More on Music in Casa Barberini." Studi musicali 14 (January 1986), p. 242, suggests that the prominence of Marsyas in this portrait may commemorate Pasqualini's participation, albeit at the age of fourteen, in Ottavio Tronsarelli's 1628 "dramma per musica, Marsia" at the unfinished palace of the Quattro Fontane; adds that "Marsia" was published in 1631 and dedicated to Cardinal Francesco Barberini.
Joe Friedman. "Spencer House." Apollo 126 (August 1987), p. 90 n. 12, 91, ill., notes that our picture and Reni's "Liberality and Modesty" hung in the Great Room at Spencer House, London, which was designed by James "Athenian" Stuart.
Steffi Röttgen in Guido Reni und Europa: Ruhm und Nachruhm. Exh. cat., Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. Frankfurt, 1988, pp. 552–53, ill., notes the influence of Reni in the presentation of the two standing stationary figures in a shallow space, and in the idealized characterization of Apollo, directly based on Reni's "Allegory with Liberality and Modesty" in the Falconieri collection; observes that Pepper dates Reni's "Allegory" 1637–38, and that the MMA picture must post-date it.
Charles Dempsey in Pietro Testa, 1612–1650: Prints and Drawings. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 1988, pp. lix, lx, ill., describes the figure of Apollo as "an extreme interpretive idea of softly feminine beauty" that is "Neoclassic avant la lettre".
Franca Trinchieri Camiz. "The Castrato Singer: From Informal to Formal Portraiture." Artibus et Historiae no. 18 (1988), pp. 178–83, ill. (overall and detail), dates it 1641–42, based on the compositional debt to Claude Mellan's 1641 engraving, after a drawing by Poussin, of "Apollo Crowning the Poet Virgil"; notes that Apollo with the laurel wreath is the most obvious reference in seventeenth-century iconography to poetic achievement; suggests that Sacchi's allegorical and symbolic construction seems to exalt Pasqualini's achievements as a poet/composer beyond his fame as a singer/performer; believes that Pasqualini is being celebrated as a "symbol of the kind of intellectualized and rationalized music which embodies man's civilized nature, in contrast to the barbarous and savage aspects symbolized by Marsyas"; compares it to Caravaggio's "Lute Players"; believes that the portrait was most likely commissioned by Pasqualini himself, possibly after his triumph in the opera "Il Palazzo Incantato" of 1642; suggests that the singer presented the picture to Rospigliosi on the occasion of the latter's election to the papal throne.
D. Stephen Pepper. Guido Reni: l'opera completa. Novara, 1988, p. 289, notes that this picture and Reni's "Liberality and Modesty" seem to have been imported from Italy before 1730.
Ursula V. Fischer Pace in La pittura in Italia: il Seicento. Milan, 1989, vol. 2, p. 875.
Laurence Libin. "Keyboard Instruments." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 67 (Summer 1989), p. 9, ill. (color).
Milton Esterow. "Masterpiece Theater." Art News 89 (Summer 1990), pp. 135–37, ill. (color).
Keith Christiansen. A Caravaggio Rediscovered: The Lute Player. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1990, pp. 80–82, no. 18, ill. (color), dates it about 1640; observes that it was most probably commissioned by Pasqualini himself, "whose friendship with Sacchi and vain character accord perfectly with the self-adulation implicit in the imagery"; confirms Bellori's [see Ref. 1692–96] identification of the costume with that of a shepherd based on comparison with the costumes in an engraving after Sacchi by François Collignon (fig. 34) representing a ballet of shepherds and nymphs in the Falconieri palace in 1634; believes the instrument may be a specific clavicytherium on which Pasqualini performed and that the table supported by three dolphins may also have existed.
Frederick Hammond. Music & Spectacle in Baroque Rome: Barberini Patronage under Urban VIII. New Haven, 1994, pp. 52–53 n. 45, 98 nn. 37–38, 190, 201, 203, ill. (frontispiece), believes it was painted for the Barberini, noting, specifically, that "Apollo symbolizes the favor of the Barberini, personified in Apollo as the poet-pope" and that "Daphne recalls not only the origin of the laurel of Apollo and the Barberini but also Maffeo Barberini's moralizing inscription for the base of Bernini's 'Apollo and Daphne'"; calls the instrument depicted in the portrait a "minor organological mystery"; suggests the picture may commemorate the singer's participation in Ottavio Tronsarelli's 1631 musical drama "Marsia".
Ann Sutherland Harris in The Katalan Collection of Italian Drawings. Exh. cat., Vassar College. Poughkeepsie, 1995, p. 104, dates this painting about 1640, linking it to studies of the figure of Apollo in the 1983 Christie's sale, and now in the Katalan Museum (cat. no. 45) [see Ref. Christiansen 1983]; notes that the verso of this sheet includes studies for Sacchi's painting "Urban VIII visiting the Gesù on October 2, 1639," for which the artist received payment in 1641.
Stella Rudolph. Niccolò Maria Pallavicini: L'ascesa al tempio della virtù attraverso il mecenatismo. Rome, 1995, pp. 32–33, 193 n. 77, p. 229, no. 381, colorpl. 5, suggests that this picture was acquired by Pallavicini on the advice of Carlo Maratti, and publishes Pallavicini's 1714 inventory in which it is listed under no. 381 and described as ". . . Apollo crowning a shepherd. . .".
Patrizia Tosini. Museo d'Arte Antica del Castello Sforzesco. 3, Milan, 1999, pp. 275–77, catalogues the copy in the Castello Sforzesco; dates the original to the end of the 1630s and believes that Maratti was "almost certainly" responsible for its transfer from the collection of Rospigliosi to that of Pallavicini.
Patrizia Tosini in Andrea Sacchi, 1599–1661. Exh. cat., Forte Sangallo. Rome, 1999, pp. 71–72.
Ann Sutherland Harris in L'idea del bello: Viaggio per Roma nel Seicento con Giovan Pietro Bellori. Exh. cat., Palazzo delle Esposizioni. Rome, 2000, vol. 1, p. 75, ill. on cover in color; vol. 2, pp. 449–50, no. 6 under Sacchi, ill. (color), dates it about 1640 and claims that this type of allegorical portrait was emulated by Maratti and others.
Fredrika Jacobs. "(Dis)assembling: Marsyas, Michelangelo, and the Accademia del Disegno." Art Bulletin 84 (September 2002), pp. 429, 432, ill. (color), describes the statuette placed on the keyboard of the clavicytherium as a "Marsyas religatus," or bound Marsyas.
Todd P. Olson. "'Long Live the Knife': Andrea Sacchi's 'Portrait of Marcantonio Pasqualini'." Art History 27 (November 2004), pp. 696–722, ill., believes the sacrifice of Marsyas may be a myth associated with artistic production and that Sacchi enlists Marsyas here to make broad claims about art—including his own—in which artistic practice "is imagined as the torture of a debased Other, a self separated from the Self"; asserts that the cutting of Marsyas was identified with castration and that his mutilation here makes visible the castration that was the precondition for Pasqualini's art.
Keith Christiansen. "Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin." Going for Baroque: Bringing 17th-Century Masters to the Met. 62 (Winter 2005), pp. 45, 47–48, fig. 43 (color), ill. inside back cover (color detail).
Arnaldo Morelli in Roma barocca: Bernini, Borromini, Pietro da Cortona. Exh. cat., Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome. Milan, 2006, p. 309, fig. 1 (color).
Christophe Marcheteau de Quinçay. Didon abandonnée de Andrea Sacchi. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen. Caen, 2007, pp. 25, 29 n. 120, dates it to the late 1630s, erroneously referring to two versions of the picture, at Althorp and the MMA; mentions it in connection with a painting (private collection) attributed to Carlo Maratta, possibly a contemporary copy after an original by Sacchi, of Bacchus and Ariadne, where the pose of Bacchus is similar to that of Apollo in the Museum's picture.
Margaret Kimiko Murata. "A Topography of the Barberini Manuscripts of Music." I Barberini e la cultura europea del Seicento. Rome, 2007, p. 379, colorpl. XL.
Francesco Petrucci. Pittura di ritratto a Roma: il Seicento. Rome, , vol. 1, pp. 178, 180, fig. 260 (color); vol. 2, p. 379; vol. 3, pl. 658.
Keith Christiansen in Philippe de Montebello and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1977–2008. New York, 2009, p. 37.
Franco Mormando. Bernini: His Life and His Rome. Chicago, 2011, pp. 120–21.