Antonio Morassi. Tiepolo. Bergamo, 1943, p. 38, fig. 124, attributes it to Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and calls it Allegory with Venus and Apollo; dates it about 1662–70; states that it was formerly in the Van Dieman Gallery, Berlin; mentions it among works he calls "ideas" for ceiling decorations.
Antonio Morassi. A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings of G. B. Tiepolo. London, 1962, p. 35, fig. 253, calls it a modello for a ceiling possibly never carried out.
Anna Pallucchini in L'opera completa di Giambattista Tiepolo. Milan, 1968, pp. 132–33, no. 282, ill., calls it Venus and Apollo; dates it about 1762–66 and notes that Bacchus and the swans are new details in the artist's repertoire.
Massimo Gemin and Filippo Pedrocco. Giambattista Tiepolo: i dipinti, opera completa. Venice, 1993, pp. 458–59, no. 469, ill., call it Venus and Apollo; find it similar to the study of 1758 (MMA 37.165.2) for the Saint Thecla altarpiece, and believe that Tiepolo probably painted it in Venice and then brought it to Madrid.
Catherine Whistler. "Review of Gemin and Pedrocco 1993." Burlington Magazine 137 (September 1995), p. 626, identifies the subject as the Chariot of Aurora; states that it must have been painted soon after Tiepolo's arrival in Madrid as a sketch for a ceiling in the royal palace, adding that Mengs painted a Chariot of Aurora for the queen's bedroom in 1763.
Keith Christiansen et al. in Giambattista Tiepolo, 1696–1770. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1996, pp. 329, 333 n. , fig. 119 [Italian ed., "Giambattista Tiepolo, 1696–1996," Milan, 1996, pp. 329, 333 n. 2, fig. 119], as "The Chariot of Aurora"; calls it a sketch for the ceiling of the queen's bedroom in the royal palace in Madrid, which was ultimately painted by Mengs.
Keith Christiansen in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1996–1997." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 55 (Fall 1997), pp. 40–41, ill. (color), discusses the iconography.
Andrea Kirsh and Rustin S. Levenson. Seeing Through Paintings: Physical Examination in Art Historical Studies. New Haven, 2000, p. 272 n. 6.