A. Janssens de Bisthoven. Letter to Mrs. Francois (Anne) Poulet. October 22, 1968, identifies the buildings in the background and the artist's probable point of view.
J. C. Ebbinge-Wübben in The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection. Ed. Rudolf J. Heinemann. Castagnola-Ticino, 1969, pp. 206–7, ascribes both this painting and the Thyssen-Bornemisza variant to the master of the André Madonna, observing, however, that this painting is "nearer in style to Gerard David".
Colin Eisler. Letter to Everett Fahy. April 17, 1969, argues that this picture may prove to have been painted by an "artist somewhat David's junior, belonging to the generation of Sittow and Gossart".
Everett Fahy. "A Madonna by Gerard David." Apollo 90 (September 1969), pp. 190–95, ill. (color), attributes this picture to Gerard David, noting that Panofsky endorsed this attribution in correspondence with the Wrightsmans while Sterling, Held, and R. Heinemann questioned it; dates it about 1500–1505, traces motifs in it to the work of earlier painters and argues that the variant in the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection is by a different artist; reasons that the presence of a Carthusian monk in the courtyard makes it seem probable that the picture was commissioned by a Charthusian and that its small size indicates that it was probably designed as a private devotional picture
Rudolf J. Heinemann. Letter to Everett Fahy. March 24, 1969, endorses Ebbinge-Wübben's attribution of this picture to the Master of the André Madonna.
Julius S. Held. Letter to Everett Fahy. April 25, 1969, observes that it is prettier than any work known to him by David and attributes it to a follower, commenting that "despite the derivative nature of [its] style and composition, it is a very fine produce of the Bruges school".
Susan Urbach. Letter to Anne Poulet. April 21, 1971, calls it the Vorbild (model, prototype) of the painting in the Thyssen collection and relates it to works by other artists.
Everett Fahy in The Wrightsman Collection. Vol. 5, Paintings, Drawings. [New York], 1973, pp. 53–61, no. 7, ill. p. 55 (color), figs. 1–2 (details), 4 (reverse), dates it about 1500; relates it to works by other artists.
R. A. Cecil. "The Wrightsman Collection." Burlington Magazine 118 (July 1976), p. 518.
Mary Sprinson in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1975–1979. New York, 1979, p. 48, ill. (color).
Edwin James Mundy III. "Gerard David Studies." PhD diss., Princeton University, 1980, pp. 27–28, 51 nn. 44–46, calls it "unmistakably a work completely executed by David's hand" and places it close in date to the Justice panels [Groeningemuseum, Bruges].
Larry Silver. "Fountain and Source: A Rediscovered Eyckian Icon." Pantheon 41 (April–May–June 1983), p. 101, ill.
Maryan W. Ainsworth. "Gerard David's Working Methods: Some Preliminary Observations." Le Dessin sous-jacent dans la peinture. Ed. Roger van Schoute and Dominique Hollanders-Favart. Colloque 5, Louvain-la-Neuve, 1985, pp. 54–57, 58 n. 3, pls. 15, 19–21 (overall, reflectogram assembly of two details, x-ray of detail), identifies a drawing in the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett (pl. 17) as a study by David on which the Wrightsman painting was based; discusses the drawing in relation to the underdrawing in the painting.
John Oliver Hand in The Age of Bruegel: Netherlandish Drawings in the Sixteenth Century. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1986, p. 131 n. 8, observes that the drawing in Berlin [see Ref. Ainsworth 1985] has so much of the character of a copy that he finds it hard to discern David's hand.
Hans J. van Miegroet. Gerard David. Antwerp, 1989, pp. 246, 251, 254, 265 n. 65, p. 304, no. 38, colorpls. 239 and 242 (detail), ill. p. 304, ascribes it to David and dates it 1515–20.
Jeltje Dijkstra. "Origineel en Kopie: Een Onderzoek naar de Navolging van de Meester van Flémalle en Rogier van der Weyden." PhD diss., Universiteit van Amsterdam, 1990, p. 65.
Introduction by Walter A. Liedtke in Flemish Paintings in America: A Survey of Early Netherlandish and Flemish Paintings in the Public Collections of North America. Antwerp, 1992, p. 327, no. 178, ill.
Maryan W. Ainsworth. Petrus Christus: Renaissance Master of Bruges. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1994, p. 129, fig. 137, dates it about 1505, and observes that the landscape seems to meet the needs of a specific patron.
Didier Martens. "Identification de deux 'portraits' d'église dans la peinture brugeoise de la fin du Moyen Âge." Jaarboek van het Koninklijk Museum voor schone Kunsten, Antwerpen (1995), pp. 33, 35, 37, 39–41, 45–46, 55, fig. 1, sees a source for the suspended angels in our panel in a "Virgin and Child" in the collection of the Comte de Bergeyck, Antwerp, which he dates about 1480–90; rejects the identification of the church in the left background in our panel and in the Thyssen picture as Saint Donatien, identifying it instead as the church of Saint-Jacques seen from the North; finds accurate details in the Thyssen "portrait" of the church that do not appear in our panel and concludes that the Thyssen picture cannot depend on ours; believes that both pictures depend on the same earlier model, and that neither the Master of the André Madonna nor the author of the Wrightsman panel lived close to the church of Saint-Jacques; if they did, they obstinately presented the church at an earlier point in the history of its construction.
Maryan W. Ainsworth. "A Meeting of Sacred and Secular Worlds." From Van Eyck to Bruegel: Early Netherlandish Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Maryan W. Ainsworth and Keith Christiansen. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1998, pp. 28–29, 74, 222, 280, 306–08, 324, no. 81, ill. (color), dates it about 1510–15, discusses the iconography, and, due to the ubiquity of the type of the Virgin and Child in the art of Bruges, suggests that the model was a venerated icon, probably located in Bruges, perhaps with indulgences associated with it.
Maryan W. Ainsworth. Gerard David: Purity of Vision in an Age of Transition. New York, 1998, pp. vii, 20, 29, 31, 256, 261–66, 269–72, 309–10 nn. 22, 35, 46, 48, 55, 56, ill. (overall and detail in color, infrared reflectogram details, and x-radiographs), agrees with Martens (see Ref. 1995) that our panel and the related André Madonna in the Thyssen Collection may both derive from a model available in Bruges, perhaps in David's workshop itself; suggests that the pictures may have been produced side by side from a common model for the setting, in order to accommodate two clients who wanted different Madonna icons represented in the same locally recognizable site.
Hélène Mund in Dirk Bouts (ca. 1410–1475): Een Vlaams primitief te Leuven. Ed. Maurits Smeyers. Exh. cat., Sint-Pieterskerk en Predikherenkerk, Leuven. Louvain, 1998, p. 246 n. 40.
Lorne Campbell. National Gallery Catalogues: The Fifteenth Century Netherlandish Schools. London, 1998, p. 120, ill., notes that the view of the church of Our Lady in the National Gallery's "An Augustinian Friar(?) Praying" by Gerard David is so close to that in the present work that both must be based on the same drawing.
Larry Silver. "Old-Time Religion: Bernart van Orley and the Devotional Tradition." Pantheon 56 (1998), p. 84 n. 44.
Maryan W. Ainsworth. "Commentary: An Integrated Approach." Early Netherlandish Painting at the Crossroads: A Critical Look at Current Methodologies. Ed. Maryan W. Ainsworth. New York, 2001, p. 106.
Stephanie Buck. Die niederländischen Zeichnungen des 15. Jahrhunderts im Berliner Kupferstichkabinett: Kritischer Katalog. Turnhout, Belgium, 2001, pp. 178–81 n. 10, fig. 72, attributes the Berlin drawing after Jan van Eyck's "Virgin at the Fountain" (Koninklijk Museum, Antwerp) to Gerard David or to a member of his circle, and assumes that in the latter case David would have had access to the drawing as a compositional model; finds the parallel shading on the left side of the Virgin's face more summary than that in David's other drawings, and the modelling less sensitive.
Cyriel Stroo et al. The Flemish Primitives III: Catalogue of Early Netherlandish Painting in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. Vol. 3, The Hieronymus Bosch, Albrecht Bouts, Gerard David, Colijn de Coter and Goossen van der Weyden Groups. Brussels, 2001, p. 240.
Maryan W. Ainsworth. "Was Simon Bening a Panel Painter?" Corpus of Illuminated Manuscripts 11–12 (2002), pp. 13, 15, ill. (detail), notes that the facial types of Virgin and Child paintings in the Prado and the MMA (32.100.53), which she illustrates as "Attributed to Simon Bening," are modeled after David's late works, in particular this Virgin and Child with Four Angels and his Virgin and Child in a Landscape in the Museum Boijmans-Van Beuningen, Rotterdam.
Colin Eisler in Gerard David y el paisaje flamenco. Exh. cat., Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Madrid, 2003, pp. 15, 17, fig. 5, notes that David has combined here the architectural setting of Campin's Madonna and Child in a Niche, known through numerous copies, and the figures of Jan van Eyck's Madonna and Child at the Fountain (Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp).
Maryan W. Ainsworth in Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261–1557). Ed. Helen C. Evans. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2004, pp. 590–93, no. 355, ill. (color).
Everett Fahy in The Wrightsman Pictures. Ed. Everett Fahy. New York, 2005, pp. 2–5, no. 1, ill. (color), accepts the attribution to David [see Ref. Ainsworth 1983] of a drawing in the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett and sees it as as a work made in preparation for this panel.
Maryan W. Ainsworth. "Gerard David. Vita e opere." Il Polittico della Cervara di Gerard David. Ed. Clario Di Fabio. Exh. cat., Musei di Strada Nuova — Palazzo Bianco, Genoa. Milan, 2005, pp. 21–22, fig. 10 (color).
Maryan W. Ainsworth in Man, Myth, and Sensual Pleasures: Jan Gossart's Renaissance. Ed. Maryan W. Ainsworth. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2010, pp. 124, 144, fig. 145 (color).
Diane Wolfthal and Cathy Metzger. Los Angeles Museums. Brussels, 2014, pp. 115, 117, fig. 14 (color).
Kathryn Calley Galitz. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings. New York, 2016, pp. 272–73, no. 168, ill. pp. 173, 273 (color).