Marie-Madeleine Aubrun. Aspects du paysage neo-classique en France de 1790 à 1855. Exh. cat., Galerie du Fleuve. Paris, 1974, no. 27, ill.
Arnauld Brejon de Lavergnée. French Painting, 1774–1830: The Age of Revolution. Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais. 1975, p. 634 [French ed. "de David à Delacroix, la peinture française de 1774 à 1830," Paris, 1974, p. 627], remarks that ten studies, of which this is one, appeared on the Paris art market in December 1973, with Breton sites, particularly the mouth of the Rance river and the area around Saint-Malo; comments that until then no one knew that Valenciennes had been in Brittany so early and that the works are all undated and difficult to fit into his oeuvre.
Geneviève Lacambre. "Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes en Italie: Un journal de voyage inedit." Bulletin de la Société de l'Histoire de l'Art Français (1978), pp. 141, 143, 171 n. 26, dates the group of studies 1785, after Valenciennes returned from Rome; mentions the ten studies of places around Brittany and remarks that René le Bihan identified many of the sites, around the mouth of the Rance, and places a few of them in various collections.
Paula Rae Radisich. "Eighteenth-Century 'Plein-air' Painting and the Sketches of Pierre Henri de Valenciennes." Art Bulletin 64 (March 1982), p. 103.
Margaret Smith. Claude to Corot: The Development of Landscape Painting in France. Exh. cat., Colnaghi. New York, 1990, p. 252, no. 53, colorpl. 53, remarks that it was not until this cache of ten oil studies was found in 1973 that it was known that Valenciennes was one of the few painters to have visited Britanny before the nineteenth century, probably about 1785; notes that these plein-air studies were his way of observing and gathering information about the natural world and were useful to him in his formal compositions; states that the Rance is a small, winding river until it reaches Dinan, where it forms a wider channel that extends to the English Channel, and identifies this as the mouth of the Rance where it spills into the sea, with the west bank with small islands in the Channel visible to the right, yet comments that the painting is certainly not topographical; notes that Valenciennes strictly limited the time he spent to execute these studies to no more than two hours to keep the lighting consistent; comments that he characterized the changing light in terms of a spiritual experience; notes that although the studies were not officially exhibited, Valenciennes displayed them for the instruction of his pupils, including Michallon and Bertin.
Asher Ethan Miller. "The Path of Nature: French Paintings from the Wheelock Whitney Collection, 1785–1850." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 70 (Winter 2013), pp. 8–9, 47, figs. 5 (color) and 6 (photomicrograph detail, color).