Aureliano de Beruete. "Correspondance d'Angleterre: Exposition d'oeuvres de peintres espagnols au Guildhall de Londres." Gazette des beaux-arts 26 (1901), p. 252.
Bernard Berenson. Letter to Isabella Stewart Gardner. July 27, 1904, discusses this painting, which he brought to the attention of the Metropolitan Museum, and, doubting "whether the picture spoke to them," urges Mrs. Gardner to make an offer for it, as he is eager to get it for America.
Miguel Utrillo. "Le Greco." L'art et les artistes 1 (April–September 1905), p. 204, calls it a first idea and not a summary sketch; notes the influence of Correggio.
Paul Lafond. "Domenikos Theotokopuli, dit Le Greco." Les arts 5 (October 1906), pp. 22, 24, ill.
Manuel B. Cossío. El Greco. Madrid, 1908, vol. 1, pp. 351–52, 595, no. 282; vol. 2, pl. 63, notes a similiarity between our painting and the version from Santo Domingo el Antiguo, Toledo [now Museo del Prado, Madrid]; dates it 1604–14.
Albert F. Calvert and C. Gasquoine Hartley. El Greco: An Account of His Life and Works. London, 1909, pp. 167–68, pl. 131, includes it with works of his final period, from 1600–1614.
Morton H. Bernath. "Drei Hauptwerke des Greco in Amerika." Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst, n.s., 21 (1910), p. 22, fig. 2.
Charles H. Caffin. The Story of Spanish Painting. New York, 1910, pp. 88–89, as from his "latest period".
Maurice Barrès and Paul Lafond. Le Greco. Paris, , pp. 154, 157.
August L. Mayer. El Greco: Eine Enführung in das Leben und Wirken des Domenico Theotocopuli gennant El Greco. Munich, 1911, p. 81, ill., as a late work.
Paul Lafond. Le Greco. Paris, 1913, p. IV.
August L. Mayer. "Paintings by El Greco in America, Part Two." Art in America 4 (1916), pp. 311–13, ill., rejects Cossío's view that the composition of this picture is similar to that of the painting in Toledo [now Prado, Madrid]; notes the influence of Correggio's "Night" (Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden) in the treatment of light.
Elizabeth du Gué Trapier. El Greco. New York, 1925, pp. xii, 120–21, 157, pl. 31.
August L. Mayer. Dominico Theotocopuli, El Greco. Munich, 1926, p. 6, no. 19, pl. 37, as a late work.
Thomas H. Benton. "Mechanics of Form, Organization in Painting." Arts 11 (March 1927), p. 147, ill.
Emilio H. del Villar. El Greco en España. Madrid, 1928, p. 112.
Frank Rutter. El Greco (1541–1614). New York, , p. 100, no. 89, dates it 1604–14.
Ellis K. Waterhouse. "El Greco's Italian Period." Art Studies: Medieval, Renaissance and Modern 8 (1930), p. 80, comments on the influence of Correggio's "Night," suggesting that El Greco might have seen this picture in the Farnese residence in Parma; believes Jacopo Bassano, in his Adoration of the Shepherds (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna), was likewise looking at Correggio, but could not have directly influenced El Greco in Rome.
Raymond Escholier. Greco. Paris, 1937, p. 111.
M. Legendre and A. Hartmann. Domenikos Theotokopoulos, called El Greco. Paris, 1937, pp. 119, 504, ill., as from his "last period".
H. Vollmer in Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. 33, Leipzig, 1939, p. 6, erroneously as formerly in the Dreicer collection.
Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, pp. 230–31, ill., observes that this version of the subject most closely resembles the one in the Colegio del Patriarca, Valencia, and should therefore probably be dated well after 1600; believes both pictures are variants of the version from Santo Domingo El Antiguo, Toledo [now Prado, Madrid], from 1577; dates it probably "well after 1600".
Enrique Lafuente. "El Greco: Some Recent Discoveries." Burlington Magazine 87 (December 1945), p. 296, divides El Greco's paintings of the Adoration of the Shepherds into four categories, "Types A–D"; our painting is classified as "Type C" along with the version in Valencia; "Type C" paintings are late works characterized by extremely elongated figures, dramatic lighting and rhomboid compositions.
Walter Heil in El Greco. Exh. cat., M. H. de Young Memorial Museum. San Francisco, 1947, unpaginated, no. 15, pl. 15 (overall and details), dates it about 1604–14 and considers the Valencia version somewhat earlier.
Leo Bronstein. El Greco. New York, 1950, pp. 106–7, ill. (color), dates it about 1604–14.
José Camón Aznar. Dominico Greco. Madrid, 1950, vol. 2, pp. 738, 743, 1180–81, 1359, no. 54, fig. 567, calls it a late work; sees sources in Correggio's "Night" and also in the Nativities of Bassano; publishes an engraving by Diego de Astor (fig. 916) made in Toledo in 1605 after an "analagous" composition.
Theodore Rousseau Jr. "A Guide to the Picture Galleries." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12, part 2 (January 1954), p. 4.
Halldor Soehner. "Greco in Spanien." Münchner Jahrbuch der bildenden Kunst, 3rd ser., 8 (1957), pp. 186, 194, dates it 1610–12.
Juan Antonio Gaya Nuño. La pintura española fuera de España. Madrid, 1958, p. 201, no. 1368, dates El Greco's Toledo Adoration [now Prado, Madrid] about 1577 and the present work after 1600.
Harold E. Wethey. El Greco and His School. Princeton, 1962, vol. 1, fig. 157; vol. 2, pp. 26–27, no. 27, classifies El Greco's paintings of the subject into four main types with our painting and the version in Valencia belonging to Type IV, a synthesis of several elements from Types II and III; derived rom Type II are the figures of the Virgin and Joseph moved to the right of the composition, and derived from Type III, the "romantically ruined arches in the background as well as the Raphaelesque gesture of the Madonna" and an angel at the "upper left with arms lifted in a gesture of exhaltation"; states that our painting is the finest example of Type IV and dates it about 1605–10.
Tiziana Frati. L'opera completa del Greco. Milan, 1969, p. 118, no. 133b, colorpls. 37–38 (overall and detail), as an autograph replica of the version in Valencia.
Enrique Lafuente Ferrari. El Greco: The Expressionism of His Final Years. New York, 1969, pp. 78, 130–31, 136, 169, no. 143, colorpls. XVIII–XX (overall and details), asserts that El Greco certainly learned from Bassano to make the Child the luminous center of his Nativities; dates our painting 1610–14 and considers it a replica of the Valencia painting; identifies the latter as the source for the Diego de Astor engraving.
Calvin Tomkins. Merchants and Masterpieces: The Story of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1970, p. 209 [rev., enl. ed., 1989].
Manuel B. Cossío. El Greco. definitive ed. Barcelona, 1972, pp. 204–5, 309, 357, no. 25, dates it 1604–14.
Jacques Lassaigne. El Greco. London, 1973, p. 143.
Rollin van N. Hadley. "What Might Have Been: Pictures Mrs. Gardner Did Not Acquire." Fenway Court (1979), pp. 36, 48, no. 55, reproduces an illustration of the wrong El Greco Nativity (41.190.17) as pl. 55.
Howard Hibbard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1980, pp. 16, 23, 285, fig. 29 (color).
Katharine Baetjer. "El Greco." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 39 (Summer 1981), pp. 2–3, 28, 30, 32–34, ill. (color, overall and details).
Denys Sutton. "The Aesthete of Toledo." Apollo, n.s., 116 (September 1982), p. 146.
George R. Allen. El Greco: Two Studies. Philadelphia, 1984, pp. 49–50, pl. 11B (detail), notes that the figure of Saint John with his arms raised in the "Vision of Saint John" (MMA 56.48) parallels the clothed figure to the left in this painting, one of a number of borrowings that to him indicates that the former picture could be a pastiche by the workshop.
Colin Simpson. Artful Partners: Bernard Berenson and Joseph Duveen. New York, 1986, pp. 93–94, 295 [British ed., "The Partnership: The Secret Association of Bernard Berenson and Joseph Duveen," London, 1987].
Frances Weitzenhoffer. The Havemeyers: Impressionism Comes to America. New York, 1986, pp. 156–57, claims that in 1904 the MMA turned down the chance to acquire from the Havemeyers El Greco's Assumption of the Virgin, now in the Art Institute of Chicago, because they were negotiating for this picture, which they believed was a finer example of his work.
John Bury. "El Greco's Books." Burlington Magazine 129 (June 1987), pp. 390–91, considers Giovanni Battista Pittoni's images of ruins, published as "Praecipua aliquot Romanae antiquitatis ruinarum monimenta", possibly as early as 1561, to be the engravings closest in spirit to the ruins in El Greco's later Adorations, and suggests that the "Prospetibas y antiguedades de Roma" listed by Jorge Manuel in 1621 amongst his father's books, was a set of Pittoni's engravings.
Carlo L. Ragghianti. Periplo del Greco. Milan, 1987, p. 147, fig. 61 (color).
Maryan W. Ainsworth in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, pp. 18, 238.
José Álvarez Lopera. El Greco: La obra esencial. [Madrid], , pp. 19, 260, 293, no. 302, dates it about 1608–14.
Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. 3rd ed. [1st ed. 1930, repr. 1961]. New York, 1993, pp. 155, 325 n. 215.
Albert Boime. "The Americanization of El Greco." El Greco of Crete: Proceedings of the International Symposium Held on the Occasion of the 450th Anniversary of the Artist's Birth. Iráklion, Crete, 1995, pp. 627, 642–43, ill.
Enrico Maria dal Pozzolo in El Greco in Italy and Italian Art. Exh. cat., National Gallery Alexandros Soutzos Museum. Athens, 1995, pp. 136, 438, ill., compares it to the work of Jacopo Bassano.
Nan Rosenthal. "The Pollock Sketchbooks: An Introduction." The Jackson Pollock Sketchbooks in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1997 [vol. 4], p. 15, ill., illustrates two drawings (I:10v) by Pollock based on this painting.
José Álvarez Lopera in El Greco: Identity and Transformation; Crete, Italy, Spain. Exh. cat., Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Madrid, 1999, p. 422.
José Manuel Pita Andrade in El Greco: Identity and Transformation; Crete, Italy, Spain. Exh. cat., Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid. Milan, 1999, pp. 157, 411.
Jean Louis Schefer. Sommeil du Greco. Paris, 1999, pp. 46, 107, 134.
José Álvarez Lopera. El retablo del Colegio de Doña María de Aragón de El Greco. Madrid, 2000, p. 94.
Gabriele Finaldi in Landscape of the Bible: Sacred Scenes in European Master Paintings. Exh. cat., Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Jerusalem, 2000, pp. 64–65, ill. (color), states that the figure with its arms raised is probably an angel and not a shepherd; dates it about 1610.
José Álvarez Lopera et al. in El Greco / colaboraciones . . . Barcelona, 2003, p. 301.
Keith Christiansen et al. in El Greco. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. London, 2003, pp. 214–15, no. 61, ill. (color).
Mary Sprinson de Jesús in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Chefs-d'œuvre de la peinture européenne. Exh. cat., Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Martigny, 2006, pp. 28–30, no. 1, ill. (color, overall and detail) [Catalan ed., Barcelona, 2006, pp. 24–27, no. 1, ill. (color, overall and details)].
Natalie Maria Roncone. "Sketchbook III: Jackson Pollock's Homage to the Old Masters." Burlington Magazine 152 (January 2010), p. 30, fig. 36 (color).