C. J. Nieuwenhuys. Description de la galerie des tableaux des S.M. le roi de Pays–Bas. Brussels, 1843, p. 5, no. 3, catalogues this painting as a work of Jan van Eyck.
W. Burger [Théophile Thoré]. Trésors d'art exposés à Manchester en 1857. Paris, 1857, pp. 152–53, no. 1, comments on the beautiful drapery and excellent architecture but finds the [Virgin's] head "not decisive for the attribution" to Jan van Eyck.
[Gustav Friedrich] Waagen. Galleries and Cabinets of Art in Great Britain. London, 1857, p. 190, considers it an early work of Jan van Eyck.
H. G. Hotho. "Die flandrische Malerei des fünfzehnten Jahrhunderts." Die Malerschule Hubert's van Eyck nebst deutschen Vorgängern und Zeitgenossen. 2, Berlin, 1858, pp. 200–201, ascribes it to Jan van Eyck, incorrectly placing it in the collection of the Czar in Saint Petersburg.
W. Bürger [Théophile Thoré]. Trésors d'art en Angleterre. Brussels, 1860, p. 153.
W. Bürger [Théophile Thoré]. Musée d'Anvers. Brussels, 1862, p. 25, mentions it in connection with the Van Eyck Madonna in Antwerp ["Virgin and Child by the Fountain," Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten].
Alfred Michiels. Histoire de la peinture flamande depuis ses débuts jusqu'en 1864. 2, 2nd ed. Paris, 1866, pp. 318–19, mentions it in his discussion of works by Jan van Eyck.
G. F. Waagen. "Notizen." Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst 3 (1868), p. 127, attributes our picture and a Madonna and Child in the Suermondt collection (now Berlin–Dahlem) to Jan van Eyck and considers ours the earlier of the two.
W. Bürger [Théophile Thoré]. "Nouvelles études sur la Galerie Suermondt à Aix-la-Chapelle." Gazette des beaux-arts, 2nd ser., 1 (1869), p. 11, calls this perhaps a doubtful attribution.
J. A. Crowe and G. B. Cavalcaselle. The Early Flemish Painters. 2nd ed. London, 1872, pp. 114–15, observe that if it really is a work of Jan van Eyck, it is one of his poorest.
Alfred Woltmann. "Die Galerie Suermondt." Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst 9 (1874), p. 195, refers to it in connection with the Suermondt picture as an early work of Jan van Eyck.
William Martin Conway. Early Flemish Artists and their Predecessors on the Lower Rhine. London, 1887, pp. 114–15.
W. Bode. "Alte Kunstwerke in den Sammlungen der Vereinigten Staaten." Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst, n.s., 6, no. 1 (1895), p. 17, calls it probably not autograph.
foreword by [Wilhelm von] Bode. Königliche Museen zu Berlin: Beschreibendes Verzeichnis der Gemälde. 4th ed. Berlin, 1898, p. 100, refers to it as a work probably correctly ascribed to Jan van Eyck.
Ludwig Kaemmerer. Hubert und Jan van Eyck. Bielefeld, 1898, pp. 107–9, fig. 83, ascribes it to Petrus Christus, noting that beyond the differences in handling and conception, the late style of the architecture makes it unlikely that Jan could have made this picture.
Karl Voll. Die Werke des Jan van Eyck. Strasbourg, 1900, p. 127 n. 20, rejects the attribution to Jan, calling it unrefined and weak.
[Hippolyte] Fierens-Gevaert. La Renaissance septentrionale et les premiers maîtres des Flandres. Brussels, 1905, p. 164 n. 2, as dryly painted and perhaps by Petrus Christus.
Salomon Reinach. Répertoire de peintures du moyen age et de la renaissance (1280–1580). 2, Paris, 1907, p. 360, ill. (engraving).
W. H. James Weale. Hubert and John van Eyck, their Life and Work. London, 1908, pp. 160–61, 202, no. 31 ill. opp. p. 160, rejects the attribution to Jan van Eyck calling it certainly the work of an imitator; notes that the architecture represented could not be dated before the middle of the fifteenth century and dates the picture about 1460.
Émile Durand-Gréville. Hubert et Jean van Eyck. Brussels, 1910, pp. 100–1, ill., 2nd pl. after p. 100, considers it the finest and most faithful copy of an [apparently lost] original which he ascribes to Hubert van Eyck; based on a photograph, tentatively ascribes it to Petrus Christus.
E. Durand-Gréville. "Les deux Petrus Christus." Revue de l'art ancien et moderne 30 (July–December 1911), p. 141–42, 203, 206, ill., based on reproductions, ascribes it to the father of Petrus Christus, "Petrus Christus le Vieux," and dates it tentatively about 1415–20; believes it is based on a lost original by Hubert van Eyck.
Morton H. Bernath. New York und Boston. Leipzig, 1912, p. 52, as by Christus.
W. H. James Weale and Maurice W. Brockwell. The Van Eycks and their Art. London, 1912, pp. 174–75, 207, no. 39, call it a "mere imitation" and date it probably about 1460; mention a "copy or imitation" of this picture in the collection of David Sellar [now Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, as Petrus Christus].
Walter Cohen in Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. 8, Leipzig, 1913, pp. 125–26, lists it as a work of Petrus Christus.
Martin Conway. The Van Eycks and Their Followers. London, 1921, p. 69, observes that "it may have been Petrus Chistus who so carefully copied this Madonna group" after Jan's "Virgin and Child" in Antwerp.
Max J. Friedländer. "Die Van Eyck, Petrus Christus." Die altniederländische Malerei. 1, Berlin, 1924, p. 164, places this picture between Jan and Christus in style and quality.
L. Maeterlinck. Une école préeyckienne inconnue. Paris, 1925, p. 28, fig. 58, observes that the manifest inferiority of the picture does not permit an attribution to either Jan or Hubert.
Malcolm Vaughan. "Paintings by Petrus Christus in America (part 1)." International Studio 89 (January 1928), ill. p. 31, as by Christus.
G. H. Edgell. Letter to Harry B. Wehle. September 26, 1933, [Edgell was Dean of Harvard University School of Architecture] guesses a date between 1460 and 1470 on the basis of the architecture.
Harry B. Wehle and Margaretta Salinger. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Early Flemish, Dutch and German Paintings. New York, 1947, pp. 20–23, ill., attribute it to Petrus Christus, perhaps copying a work of Jan van Eyck; record and translate the inscription and identify the statuettes in the architecture.
Ludwig Baldass. Jan van Eyck. New York, 1952, p. 275 n. 2, attributes it to Christus, calling it a free rendering of Jan's "Virgin and Child by the Fountain".
Germain Bazin. "Petrus Christus et les rapports entre l'Italie et la Flandre au milieu du XVe siècle." Revue des arts 4 (December 1952), p. 199, mentions it as a painting recently added to Christus' oeuvre.
Erwin Panofsky. Early Netherlandish Painting: Its Origins and Character. Cambridge, Mass., 1953, vol. 1, pp. 350, 416 n. 5, calls it "Madonna in the Aedicula," a copy of ca. 1460 after Jan's "Virgin and Child by the Fountain;" reads DO[MI]N[V]S, not DOM[U]S in the footpace inscription [see Ref. Wehle and Salinger 1947].
Josua Bruyn. Van Eyck problemen. Utrecht, 1957, pp. 43, 104 n. 2, pp. 123–28, 132, 134, 150, fig. 56, considers it the work of an unknown pupil of Jan van Eyck, possibly the master responsible for the Prado "Fountain of Life," noting that our Virgin's cloth of honor has the same pattern as the cloth behind John the Evangelist in the Prado picture; observes that the architecture resembles that in a drawing of the Annunciation at Wolfenbüttel (fig. 57).
Mirella Levi d'Ancona. The Iconography of the Immaculate Conception in the Middle Ages and Early Rennaissance. [New York], 1957, p. 35 n. 86, p. 70 n. 162.
Pierre Quarré. "Fragment d'un primitif de la Chartreuse de Champmol." Revue des Arts 7 (March–April 1957), pp. 62–63, ill., publishes a fragment (now in Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris) of an Eyckian panel which hung in the Chartreuse de Champmol, on which are depicted portions of an aedicula similar to the one in our picture; states that these architectural elements originally framed a Madonna and Child which must have been comparable to the figures in our panel.
Erik Larsen. Les primitifs flamands au Musée Metropolitain de New York. Utrecht, 1960, pp. 38–39, 109–10, fig. 4, believes it is a sketch by Jan van Eyck which was abandoned and later finished by Christus.
R. H. Wilenski. Flemish Painters, 1430–1830. New York, 1960, vol. 1, pp. 12, 30, 73; vol. 2, pl. 125.
Raymond Bouyer Giorgio T. Faggin in L'opera completa dei Van Eyck. Milan, 1968, p. 97, ill., disusses it as a copy of the Antwerp panel (no. 29) which may date from about 1450.
Lola B. Malkis Gellman. "Petrus Christus." PhD diss., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, 1970, pp. 497–99, no. 30, fig. 81, rejects the attribution to Christus.
Charles Sterling. Letter. February 20, 1971, says that he would call it "Follower of Jan van Eyck close to Petrus Christus," and adds that the architecture depends on Rogier's Granada–Miraflores altarpiece, probably painted about 1438–40.
Joel M. Upton. "Petrus Christus." PhD diss., Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pa., 1972, pp. 420–21, no. 44, rejects the attribution to Christus and finds it close in style to the dry rendering of the Frick Madonna, also underservedly attributed to Christus.
Lino Moretti. G. B. Cavalcaselle: disegni da antichi maestri. Exh. cat., Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice. [Vicenza], 1973, p. 73, ascribes our panel to an imitator of Jan van Eyck; publishes the sketch Cavalcaselle made after it at the 1857 Manchester exhibition and notes that he queried its attribution to Jan in the margin of his catalogue.
Susan Urbach. "Domus Dei Est et Porta Coeli: Megjegyzések Petrus Christus Madonna-Képének Ikonográfiájához." Építésépítészettudomány 3–4 (1974), pp. 349–51, ill.
Francis Haskell. Rediscoveries in Art: Some Aspects of Taste, Fashion and Collecting in England and France. Ithaca, N.Y., 1976, p. 69, pl. 160.
J. W. Niemeijer. "A Conversation Piece by Aert Schouman and the Founders of the Hope Collection." Apollo, n.s., 108 (September 1978), p. 187.
David Robertson. Sir Charles Eastlake and the Victorian Art World. Princeton, 1978, p. 185, refers to it as by Petrus Christus.
Elisabeth Dhanens. Hubert and Jan van Eyck. New York, 1980, p. 365, ill., with the works of "Anonymous Epigones and Imitators".
Larry Silver. "Fountain and Source: A Rediscovered Eyckian Icon." Pantheon 41 (April–May–June 1983), pp. 95–96, 102 n. 4, ill., calls it "After Jan van Eyck" and dates it mid–15th century.
John Pope-Hennessy. "Roger Fry and The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Oxford, China, and Italy: Writings in Honour of Sir Harold Acton on his Eightieth Birthday. London, 1984, p. 231.
Erik Hinterding and Femy Horsch. "Reconstruction of the Collection of Old Master Paintings of King Willem II." Simiolus 19, no.1–2 (1989), p. 56, as style of Jan van Eyck.
Erik Hinterding and Femy Horsch. "'A small but choice collection': The Art Gallery of King Willem II of the Netherlands (1792–1849)." Simiolus 19, no.1–2 (1989), p. 10 n. 19.
Craig Harbison. Jan van Eyck: The Play of Realism. London, 1991, p. 163, dates it to the mid-15th century and calls it one of at least eight very exact copies of van Eyck's Antwerp Virgin and Child; suggests that with such careful copying Netherlandish artists were—in the manner of earlier artists who laboriously copied Byzantine icons—attempting to preserve the "magic formula" of van Eyck's "icons".
Peter Klein. Letter to Maryan Ainsworth. April 15, 1991, dates the panel from 1503 upwards through dendrochronological analysis.
Jos Koldeweij. "Book Reviews: Maryan Ainsworth with contributions by Maximiliaan P. J. Martens, 'Petrus Christus: Renaissance Master of Bruges'." Simiolus 23, no. 4 (1995), pp. 269, 271–72, finds it odd that Ainsworth does not discuss this picture.
Christian Heck. Letter to Maryan Ainsworth. April 15, 1996, finds this panel a good example of the identification in western medieval art of the Virgin with Jacob's ladder, as shown by the upper inscription.
Maryan W. Ainsworth. Gerard David: Purity of Vision in an Age of Transition. New York, 1998, p. 265, ill. p. 266, discusses possible early sources in Byzantine art for Jan van Eyck's prototype; gives earliest felling date for panel as 1427.
Maryan W. Ainsworth. "A Meeting of Sacred and Secular Worlds." From Van Eyck to Bruegel: Early Netherlandish Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1998, pp. 65, 81, 211, 220, 222–23, no. 48, ill. (color), as "Netherlandish" about 1500.
Elizabeth A. Pergam. "From Manchester to Manhattan: The Transatlantic Art Trade After 1857." Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 87, no. 2 (2005), pp. 66–67, 86, 88, reproduces a sketch by George Scharf recording the placement of this work at the Manchester exhibition of 1857.
Jenny Graham. Inventing Van Eyck: The Remaking of an Artist for the Modern Age. Oxford, 2007, pp. 151, 227 n. 97, fig. 55.
Elsbeth Wiemann in Hans Holbein d. Ä.: Die Graue Passion in ihrer Zeit. Exh. cat., Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. Stuttgart, 2010, pp. 366–69, no. 119, ill. (color).