John Smith. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French Painters. 4, London, 1833, p. 35, no. 109, as sold for fl. 2,499 at the Schimmelpenninck sale of 1819.
J[ohannes]. Immerzeel Jr. De levens en werken der Hollandsche en Vlaamsche kunstschilders, beeldhouwers, graveurs en bouwmeesters. 3, Amsterdam, 1843, p. 111.
T[obias]. van Westrheene. Jan Steen: étude sur l'art en Hollande. The Hague, 1856, p. 153, no. 296, as present whereabouts unknown.
Catalogue of Paintings Forming the Private Collection of P. A. B. Widener, Ashbourne, near Philadelphia. [Paris], 1885–1900, vol. 2, p. 256, no. 256, ill. on facing page [continuously paginated and numbered from vol. 1], as "The Merrymakers".
C[ornelis]. Hofstede de Groot. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. 1, London, 1907, p. 116, no. 443, gives provenance information.
Wilhelm R. Valentiner. The Hudson-Fulton Celebration: Catalogue of an Exhibition Held in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1909, vol. 1, p. 128, no. 127, ill. opp. p. 128, as "The Merrymakers," lent by Mr. P. A. B. Widener, Philadelphia.
William Bode. "More Spurious Pictures Abroad Than in America." New York Times (December 31, 1911), p. SM4.
C[ornelis]. Hofstede de Groot and Wilhelm R. Valentiner. Pictures in the Collection of P. A. B. Widener at Lynnewood Hall, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania: Early German, Dutch & Flemish Schools. Philadelphia, 1913, unpaginated, no. 44, ill., as "The Merrymakers".
Frederick Antal. "Concerning some Jan Steen Pictures in America." Art in America 13 (April 1925), p. 116, fig. 6, as "The Jesters," in the collection of Joseph E. Widener, Philadelphia.
D. Hannema. "Tentoonstelling." Verslag van het museum Boijmans te Rotterdam (1928), p. 9, as on long term loan from A. J. M. Goudriaan; dates it about 1674.
E[duard]. Trautscholdt in Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. 31, Leipzig, 1937, p. 512, as on loan to the Boijmans Museum from Goudriaan, and as formerly with Douwes Brothers, Amsterdam.
Beknopte catalogus schilderijen en beeldhouwwerken. Rotterdam, 1937, p. 48, no. 431, as "Het tuinfeest," on loan from A. J. M. Goudriaan; identifies the central female figure as the artist's first wife, Margaretha van Goyen [d. 1669].
Gids: Schilderkunst & Beeldhouwkunst. Rotterdam, 1951, p. 89, no. 431, as on loan from Mrs. J. M. A. Roosenburg-Goudriaan.
Margaretta M. Salinger. "Jan Steen's Merry Company." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 17 (January 1959), pp. 124–31, ill. inside front cover (color) and pp. 124, 125, 126, 127, 129, 130, 131 (details), dates it after 1669; identifies the seated figure at far left as the artist himself, and suggests that other figures may also represent family members.
Malcolm Vaughan. "The Connoisseur in America." Connoisseur 143 (June 1959), p. 274, ill.
A. B. de Vries. "Jan Steen: The Profundity of Pranks." Art News 58 (March 1959), p. 31, ill. (color), dates it about 1670–79.
Oliver T. Banks Princeton University. Watteau and the North: Studies in the Dutch and Flemish Baroque Influence on French Rococo Painting. New York, 1977, pp. 193, fig. 139, dates it probably mid-1660s.
Karel Braun. Alle tot nu toe bekende schilderijen van Jan Steen. Rotterdam, 1980, p. 142, no. 374, ill. pp. 143 (overall), 9, and 14 (details), dates it 1677–79; identifies four figures with members of Steen's family; considers parts of the picture may be by one of the artist's sons.
Peter C. Sutton. A Guide to Dutch Art in America. Grand Rapids, Mich., 1986, pp. 186–87.
Walter Liedtke. "Dutch Paintings in America: The Collectors and Their Ideals." Great Dutch Paintings from America. Exh. cat., Mauritshuis, The Hague. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1990, p. 55.
H. Perry Chapman. "Persona and Myth in Houbraken's Life of Jan Steen." Art Bulletin 75 (March 1993), p. 143, fig. 7.
Walter A. Liedtke in "European and American Paintings." The Taft Museum: Its History and Collections. 1, New York, 1995, p. 171 n. 8.
H. Perry Chapman et al. in Jan Steen: Painter and Storyteller. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1996, pp. 11–12, 19–20, 61, 113, 166, 235, 253–56, 259, no. 48, ill. (color), date it about 1673–75.
Harry Berger Jr. Manhood, Marriage, & Mischief: Rembrandt's "Night Watch" and other Dutch Group Portraits. New York, 2007, p. 35, fig. 6.
Esmée Quodbach. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 65 (Summer 2007), p. 37, fig. 43 (color).
Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, p. 254; vol. 2, pp. 844–47, no. 197, colorpl. 197, states that it probably dates from about 1670.
Jasper Hillegers in Celebrating in the Golden Age. Exh. cat., Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem. Rotterdam, 2011, pp. 114–15, no. 28, ill. (color).
Anna Tummers in Celebrating in the Golden Age. Exh. cat., Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem. Rotterdam, 2011, p. 17.
Thijs Weststeijn in Celebrating in the Golden Age. Exh. cat., Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem. Rotterdam, 2011, pp. 24–25, ill. (color detail).