At least eight versions of this tender image came out of Van Dyck’s workshop, and this one is at once the finest and least finished example. The deftly fluid brushstrokes loosely follow an incised underdrawing, which must have been traced from a preparatory drawing. Van Dyck would have kept this panel in his studio as a model for more finished paintings by himself and by assistants.
Leicester Fitzgerald Charles Stanhope, 5th Earl of Harrington, Harrington House, Charing Cross, London (by 1857–d. 1862); the Earls of Harrington, Harrington House (1862–1917); Dudley Henry Eden Stanhope, 9th Earl of Harrington, Harrington House (1917; sale, Christie's, London, May 18, 1917, no. 54, as "The Madonna," for £348 to Williams); Henry Goldman, New York (by 1922–d. 1937; cat., 1922, no. 12); Mrs. Henry Goldman, New York (1937–48); [Wildenstein, New York, 1948–51; sold to MMA]
New York. World's Fair. "Masterpieces of Art: European Paintings and Sculpture from 1300–1800," May–October 1939, no. 100 (lent by Mrs. Henry Goldman, New York).
New York. Wildenstein. "The Italian Heritage," May 17–August 29, 1967, no. 60.
Indianapolis Museum of Art. "Treasures from the Metropolitan," October 25, 1970–January 3, 1971, no. 66.
[Gustav Friedrich] Waagen. Galleries and Cabinets of Art in Great Britain. London, 1857, p. 238, as in the Earl of Harrington's collection.
Frank Jewett Mather, Jr. "A Madonna by Van Dyck." Art in America 7 (April 1919), pp. 103–4, ill. opp. p. 103, notes the indented underdrawing and the influence of Titian, and suggests that the models were Isabella Brant and her son Nicholas; dates it 1621, and records the traditional view that it was acquired directly from Van Dyck by the Harrington family.
Wilhelm R. Valentiner. The Henry Goldman Collection. New York, 1922, unpaginated, no. 12, ill., dates it to Van Dyck's Italian period or shortly thereafter.
Wilhelm R. Valentiner. "Die Sammlung Henry Goldman in New York." Kunst und Künstler 21 (1923), p. 187, ill. p. 188.
Adolf Feulner. Katalog der Gemälde im Residenzmuseum München und in Schloss Nymphenburg. Munich, 1924, p. 28, under no. 99, erroneously as in Boston; describes the Munich picture as a workshop replica of the MMA panel, then in the Goldman collection.
Georg Gronau. "Die Sammlung Henry Goldman." Kunstwanderer 5 (August 1924), p. 345, as from the Italian period.
W. R. Valentiner. "The Henry Goldman Collection." Art News 25 (May 14, 1927), pp. 14–16, ill.
Gustav Glück. Van Dyck, des Meisters Gemälde. 2nd ed. [1st ed. 1909]. Stuttgart, 1931, pp. XXXVI, 536, ill. p. 149, as from the Italian period.
K[urt]. Zoege von Manteuffel in Gustav Glück. Rubens, Van Dyck und ihr Kreis. Vienna, 1933, p. 404 n. to p. 218.
Comte d'Arschot. "Tableaux peu connus conservés en Brabant IV." Revue belge d'archéologie et d'histoire de l'art 16, nos. 3/4 (1946), pp. 130–31, as the original version, of about 1629.
Theodore Rousseau Jr. "Paintings: Purchases." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 11 (Summer 1952), p. 32.
100 Opere di Van Dyck. Exh. cat., Palazzo dell'Accademia. Genoa, 1955, p. 33, under no. 60.
Horst Vey. Die Zeichnungen Anton van Dycks. Brussels, 1962, text vol., p. 183, under no. 113, as from the Italian period.
The Bob Jones University Collection of Religious Paintings. Greenville, S.C., 1962, vol. 2, p. 292, under no. 170, as a replica of the Greenville picture.
Guy-Philippe de Montebello. "Van Dyck, Painter of the Counter Reformation." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 22 (December 1963), pp. 133, 135, 137–38, 140, 142, figs. 3–4 (details) and frontispiece, dates it about 1621.
A[ntoine]. de Schryver and C[arl]. van de Velde. Catalogus van de Schilderijen. Ghent, 1972, p. 76, under no. 36.
Erik Larsen. L'opera completa di Van Dyck. Milan, 1980, vol. 1, pp. 111–12, no. 373, ill., switches the illustration of the MMA panel with that of the version in the Bob Jones University collection (no. 374); dates it about 1621–25.
Walter A. Liedtke. Flemish Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1984, vol. 1, pp. 74–77; vol. 2, pl. 31, suggests that it may have been intended as a modello for a more finished and probably larger painting, and observes that it is generally assigned to Van Dyck's Italian years; discusses the relationship of the various versions of this composition.
Walter A. Liedtke. "Anthony van Dyck." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 42 (Winter 1984/85), pp. 26–27, 32, fig. 26 (color).
Walter A. Liedtke. "Flemish Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum—II: Van Dyck, Jordaens, Brouwer, and Others." Tableau 6 (February 15, 1984), pp. 30–31, 33 n. 15.
Erik Larsen. The Paintings of Anthony van Dyck. Freren, Germany, 1988, vol. 1, pp. 227, 396 n. 315, fig. 182; vol. 2, p. 178, no. 442.
Alfred Moir. Anthony van Dyck. New York, 1994, pp. 20, 82–83, 90, fig. 29 and colorpl. 18 (detail).
Robin Blake. Anthony van Dyck: A Life, 1599–1641. London, 1999, pp. 23–24, 368 n. 1, pl. 3, as tentatively dated 1624.
Master Paintings & Sculpture: Day Sale. Sotheby's, New York. January 26, 2017, p. 66, under no. 144.
This panel is generally assigned to Van Dyck's Italian years. Placing it in the artist's oeuvre is complicated by its seemingly unfinished state, and by the existence of several versions. Ludwig Burchard, in a letter of 1954 (copy in Rubenianum, Antwerp), thought none of the surviving versions autograph. The versions in Turin, Ghent, and Greenville, South Carolina are very probably copies; the one in Munich (Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen) is more impressive, but was catalogued in 1924 as a copy of the Museum's picture. See Liedtke 1984 for a discussion of the painting's technique.
Engraved by Lorenzi (see John Smith, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French Painters . . . , vol. 3, London, 1831, no. 429).