Inventarium bonorum bonae memoriae illustrissimi et reverendissimi Domini Cardinalis Benedicti Iustiniani. March 31, 1621, fol. 1356v, no. 70 [Archivio di Stato, Rome, Notai del tribunale AC, uff. 8, Vol. 1302, Rainaldo Buratti; published in Danesi Squarzina 1997; Getty no. I-2932], as "Un quadro piccolo in rame della Madonna con molti santi, con cornicette piccole indorate".
Inventory of the paintings and sculpture in the collection of Vincenzo Giustiniani. February 9, 1638, no. 57 [Archivio di Stato, Rome, Archivio Giustiniani, Busta 10; published in Squarzina 2003; Getty no. I-2933], as "Un quadretto picciolo d'una Madonna, che tiene un Libro in mano e Christo bambino con Spighe di grano in mano S.Bernardo S.Pietro S.Paolo S.Andrea et altre Santine figurine picciole dipinti in rame alto palmi 1.1/2 Largo 1. incirca con cornice dorata" [A second version of the inventory, dated February 9 and published in Salerno 1960, with slightly different wording, includes artist attributions and gives this picture to Ludovico Carracci.].
Inventory of the collection of Andrea Giustiniani. June 13, 1667, no. 251 [Archivio di Stato, Rome, Notai del Tribunale dell'A.C., prot. 3911, notaio Lollius Bernardinus; published in Danesi Squarzina 2003], as "Un quadretto piccolo con una Madonna, che tiene un libro in mano, e Christo Bambino, con spiche di grano in mano, S. Bernardo, S. Pietro, S. Paolo, et altre Santine, e S. Andrea, figurine piccole, dipinte in Rame alto palmi 1 1/2 largo 1. in circa, di mano di Ludovico Caracci, con la sua Cornice dorata".
Mrs. Jameson. Companion to the Most Celebrated Private Galleries of Art in London. London, 1844, p. 300, no. 8, as in the Lansdowne collection, acquired at the Charles Greville sale, and bought in Italy by Greville's uncle Sir William Hamilton; lists the saints as Agnes, Catherine, unidentified, Romuald, Peter, and Andrew; sees a resemblance to the work of Correggio; mentions a copy in the Rogers collection.
[Gustav Friedrich] Waagen. Treasures of Art in Great Britain. London, 1854, vol. 3, p. 158, lists it in the drawing room at Bowood, the seat of the marquess of Lansdowne; calls it the Virgin and Child adored by four [sic] saints.
George E. Ambrose. Catalogue of the Collection of Pictures Belonging to the Marquess of Lansdowne, K.G., at Lansdowne House, London, and Bowood, Wilts. [London], 1897, p. 16, no. 131, states that Lord Lansdowne bought it at the Greville sale.
Heinrich Bodmer. Lodovico Carracci. Burg b[ei]. Magdeb[urg]., 1939, pp. 86–87, 137, no. 82, pl. 81, as in the collection of the marquess of Lansdowne, London; dates it about 1605–8.
Denis Mahon. Mostra dei Carracci: disegni. Exh. cat., Palazzo dell'Archiginnasio. Bologna, 1956, p. 31, under no. 17, mentions it in the catalogue entry for the drawing in the Ellesmere collection [see Notes]; agrees with Bodmer's dating of 1605–8 for the painting and finds that the style of the drawing supports a similar dating, but states that Francesco Arcangeli has proposed a somewhat later date for the painting.
Denis Mahon. "Afterthoughts on the Carracci Exhibition." Gazette des beaux-arts, 6th ser., 49 (April 1957), p. 206, notes that "the early nineteenth century frame [on the picture] bears the date 1607 painted on it, and this corresponds so exactly with what the writer would suppose on stylistic grounds that he is tempted to wonder if it was not derived from an authentic inscription on the front or back of the original frame".
Gian Carlo Cavalli et al. Mostra dei Carracci. Exh. cat., Palazzo dell'Archiginnasio. Bologna, 1958, pp. 138–39, no. 34, ill., date it about 1616–17.
Luigi Salerno. "The Picture Gallery of Vincenzo Giustiniani III: The Inventory, Part II." Burlington Magazine 102 (April 1960), p. 137, identifies it as no. 57 in the Giustiniani inventory of 1638.
Catalogue of the Ellesmere Collection of Drawings by the Carracci and Other Bolognese Masters. Sotheby's, London. July 11, 1972, p. 43, under no. 14.
Marguerite Guillaume. Catalogue raisonné du Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon: Peintures italiennes. Dijon, 1980, p. 19, under no. 29, mentions it in the entry for the copy after this picture in the Dijon museum.
Nicholas Turner. Italian Baroque Drawings. London, 1980, p. 92, under no. 37, dates it 1605–8, mentioning it in the entry for the drawing formerly in the Ellesmere collection.
Sydney J. Freedberg. Circa 1600: A Revolution of Style in Italian Painting. Cambridge, Mass., 1983, p. 105, fig. 138, dates it about 1607.
Gail Feigenbaum. "Lodovico Carracci: A Study of His Later Career and A Catalogue of His Paintings." PhD diss., Princeton University, 1984, pp. 416–17, no. 121, fig. 190, agrees on stylistic grounds with a date of about 1607; states that the picture probably entered the Giustiniani collection through Benedetto Giustiniani, noting that Benedetto was papal legate to Bologna from 1606 to 1611 and that Carracci wrote of working for him in a letter of 1608.
Sydney J. Freedberg in Ludovico Carracci. Ed. Andrea Emiliani. Exh. cat., Museo Civico Archeologico-Pinacoteca Nazionale. [Bologna], , pp. LXXX–LXXXI.
Giovanna Perini in Ludovico Carracci. Ed. Andrea Emiliani. Exh. cat., Museo Civico Archeologico-Pinacoteca Nazionale. [Bologna], , p. 281, mentions it as a work commissioned from Ludovico by Benedetto Giustiniani while he was papal legate to Bologna from 1606 to 1611.
Silvia Danesi Squarzina. "The Collections of Cardinal Benedetto Giustiniani: Part 1." Burlington Magazine 139 (November 1997), pp. 775, 785, fig. 71, mistakenly states that it is in a private collection in California; publishes Benedetto Giustiniani's inventory of 1621, identifying this picture as no. 70.
Anne Summerscale. Malvasia's Life of the Carracci: Commentary and Translation. University Park, Pa., 2000, p. 230 n. 314, lists it as one of three paintings by Ludovico included in Benedetto Giustiniani's inventory of 1621 that could be the work mentioned in a letter of 1609, in which Ludovico writes that he is working on a picture commissioned by Giustiniani.
Important Old Master Paintings. Christie's, New York. May 26, 2000, p. 70, under no. 52, mentions it as the original of no. 52, a copy attributed to the Studio of Ludovico and confused with the Rogers version.
Alessandro Brogi. Ludovico Carracci. Bologna, 2001, vol. 1, pp. 192–93, no. 79; vol. 2, fig. 170, dates it about 1607; rejects the attribution of the Rogers version to Ludovico.
Silvia Danesi Squarzina. "La collezione Giustiniani: Benedetto, Vincenzo, Andrea nostri contemporanei." Caravaggio e i Giustiniani: toccar con mano una collezione del Seicento. Ed. Silvia Danesi Squarzina. Exh. cat., Palazzo Giustiniani, Rome. Milan, 2001, pp. 41, 45 n. 127.
Caterina Volpi in Caravaggio e i Giustiniani: toccar con mano una collezione del Seicento. Ed. Silvia Danesi Squarzina. Exh. cat., Palazzo Giustiniani, Rome. Milan, 2001, p. 266, fig. 1, under no. C5.
Important Old Master Paintings. Sotheby's, New York. January 25, 2001, p. 166, under no. 185, attributes the Rogers version to Ludovico; states that "it remains uncertain whether it was the present lot or the Lansdowne picture" that was recorded in the Giustiniani collection.
Silvia Danesi Squarzina. La collezione Giustiniani. Turin, 2003, vol. 1, pp. 77, 128–29, 413, fig. 46; vol. 2, p. 65, publishes the Giustiniani inventories of 1621, 1638, and 1667; records the inscription on the back of the copper plate.
Silvia Danesi Squarzina. E-mail to Keith Christiansen. September 16, 2007, agrees that the foreground figure in white is Saint Bernard, and notes that the painting depicts his ecstatic vision of the Madonna.
James Gardner. "Finding Value in the Void." New York Sun (October 3, 2007), p. ?, discusses it as an example of International Mannerism: "the latest, laziest, and most languid flowering of mannerism".
Keith Christiansen in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2007–2008." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 66 (Fall 2008), p. 20, ill. (color), compares the Madonna's statuesque pose with Michelangelo's sibyls on the Sistine ceiling, and her elegance and refinement with Parmigianino's female figures.
Keith Christiansen in Philippe de Montebello and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1977–2008. New York, 2009, p. 37.