Catalogue of Paintings Forming the Private Collection of P. A. B. Widener, Ashbourne, near Philadelphia. [Paris], 1885–1900, vol. 2, p. 264, no. 264, ill. opp. p. 264 [continuously paginated and numbered from vol. 1], as "The Worship of the Wise Men".
Eduard Sack. Giambattista und Domenico Tiepolo: Ihr Leben und Ihre Werke. Hamburg, 1910, vol. 1, p. 106, fig. 92; vol. 2, p. 219, no. 498, as in the collection of Charles Sedelmeyer, Paris; dates it about 1753, calling it a preliminary study for the altarpiece (Alte Pinakothek, Munich) Tiepolo painted for the abbey of Schwarzach, Franconia, in that year.
Pompeo Molmenti. Tiepolo: La vie et l'oeuvre du peintre. Paris, 1911, p. 204, agrees with Sack (1910) that it is a sketch for the Munich altarpiece.
Max Goering. Letter. April 1938, calls it a sketch for the Munich altarpiece and dates it about 1752.
Hermann W. Williams Jr. "Tiepolo and His Contemporaries." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 33 (March 1938), p. 64, ill. on cover.
M[ax]. Goering in Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. 33, Leipzig, 1939, p. 153.
Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, pp. 283–84, ill., calls it a sketch for the Munich altarpiece.
Antonio Morassi. Tiepolo. Bergamo, 1943, pp. 31, 47, fig. 90, questions its identification as the preparatory study for the Munich altarpiece, suggesting on the basis of style that it was painted in the period following that of the Munich picture (but dates it about 1753 in the list of illustrations).
Max Goering. "Wenig Bekannte und neu gefundene Werke von Giov. Batt. Tiepolo." Pantheon 17 (October–December 1944), pp. 102–4, ill. p. 107.
Giorgio Vigni. Tiepolo. Milan, 1951, unpaginated, pl. 98.
Edoardo Arslan. Letter. April 21, 1952.
Antonio Morassi. G. B. Tiepolo: His Life and Work. London, 1955, pp. 29, 147, fig. 40.
George Knox. Catalogue of the Tiepolo Drawings in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London, 1960, pp. 31, 40 n. 57, p. 89, under no. 286, notes that the figure in yellow appears in reverse in a drawing in the Victoria and Albert Museum, finding that this supports the view that the MMA painting is not a study for the Munich altarpiece but rather an independent work dating to the late 1750s or early 1760s.
Paul Wescher. La prima Idea: Die Entwicklung der Ölskizze von Tintoretto bis Picasso. Munich, 1960, p. 49.
Antonio Morassi. A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings of G. B. Tiepolo. London, 1962, pp. 30, 33, relates it to an etching [Rizzi no. 27] said to be based on an altarpiece painted by Tiepolo for Aranjuez.
Geoffrey Agnew. Agnew's, 1817–1967. London, 1967, unpaginated, ill., as having passed through Agnew's hands; lists it as with B. Coureau in 1910.
Anna Pallucchini in L'opera completa di Giambattista Tiepolo. Milan, 1968, pp. 118, 132, no. 280, ill., dates it about 1763 and considers it possibly a sketch for the lost Aranjuez altarpiece [see Ref. Morassi 1962].
J[ames]. Byam Shaw. "The Biron Collection of Eighteenth-Century Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum." Metropolitan Museum Journal 3 (1971), pp. 237–39, on the basis of style, dates it after the Munich altarpiece, "perhaps by as much as a decade".
Günter Passavant. "Mostra del Tiepolo: Zur Ausstellung in der Villa Manin di Passariano." Kunstchronik 24 (December 1971), p. 367, dates it to Tiepolo's Madrid period (1762–70).
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 196, 273, 607.
H. Diane Russell. Rare Etchings by Giovanni Battista and Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1972, p. 32 n. 80, points out that the seven paintings made by Tiepolo for Aranjuez did not include one of this subject, explaining that the error arose from a misreading of a text published in the "Diccionario Historico de los mas Illustres Profesores de las Bellas Artes in España" (1800, vol. 5, pp. 45–46) [see Ref. Morassi 1962].
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, pp. 57–58, pl. 62, doubt that it was a preliminary sketch for the Munich altarpiece, finding that there are few similarities between the two works, and that the MMA picture seems stylistically more advanced, though perhaps still in the 1750s.
Massimo Gemin and Filippo Pedrocco. Giambattista Tiepolo: i dipinti, opera completa. Venice, 1993, pp. 180, 462–63, no. 477, ill., reject the connection with the Munich altarpiece and, finding it close to Tiepolo's sketch (MMA, 37.165.2) for the Saint Thecla altarpiece, date it about 1758–59, during the artist's final years in Venice.
Peter O. Krückmann. Heaven on Earth: Tiepolo, Masterpieces of the Würzburg Years. Munich, 1996, p. 110, fig. 116 (color), dates it about 1758 on the basis of style.
Edith Schmidmaier-Kathke in Der Himmel auf Erden: Tiepolo in Würzburg. Exh. cat., Residenz, Würzburg. Munich, 1996, vol. 1, pp. 128–29, no. 61, ill. (color), dates it about 1758–59, rejecting the connection with the Munich altarpiece.
Stéphane Loire and José de Los Llanos in Giambattista Tiepolo, 1696–1770. Exh. cat., Petit Palais. Paris, 1998, pp. 211, 265, no. 68, ill. (color), dates it about 1758; suggests that the detail of the figure on the column was inspired by Raphael's "Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple" in the Vatican.
Esmée Quodbach. "'The Last of the American Versailles': The Widener Collection at Lynnewood Hall." Simiolus 29, no. 1/2 (2002), pp. 53–54 n. 19, fig. 8, states that Widener sold it to Sulley in 1909.
Chiara Callegari in I colori della seduzione: Giambattista Tiepolo & Paolo Veronese. Exh. cat., Castello. Udine, 2012, pp. 163–64, 181 n. 2, fig. 2 (color).
Xavier F. Salomon in Giambattista Tiepolo: "il miglior pittore di Venezia". Exh. cat., Villa Manin di Passariano. Codroipo, 2012, p. 249, under no. 46.