The subject is unusual and must have been commissioned by a Catholic patron, perhaps in remembrance of someone named Mary. Van Hoogstraten was Rembrandt’s pupil in the 1640s and later his critic, advocating the more idealized manner he employs here.
Inscription: Signed (lower left): S.v.H.
?Myken Willems Bidloo, widow of Marcelis Adriaensz Bacx, ?Dordrecht (estate inventory, January 19, 1671, as "Een Marijen-beelt van Hooghstraeten"); G. L. Hevesi, London (until 1952; sale, Christie's, London, April 25, 1952, no. 138, as "The Annunciation," for 21 gns. to Appleby); Walter P. Chrysler Jr., New York (until 1960/65; sold to Moss); [Stanley Moss, New York, from 1960/65; sold to Woodner]; Ian Woodner, New York (by 1988–d. 1990); Woodner Family Collection, New York (1990–92; sale, Christie's, New York, January 16, 1992, no. 8, as "The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception," for $22,000 to Naumann); [Otto Naumann, New York, 1992; sold to MMA]
New York. National Academy of Design. "Dutch and Flemish Paintings from New York Private Collections," August 10–September 5, 1988, no. 26 (as "The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception," lent by the Ian Woodner Family Collection, Inc.).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 18, 2007–January 6, 2008, no catalogue.
Wolfgang Wegner. "Bemerkungen zu Zeichnungen Rembrandts und seiner Schule in der Albertina." Albertina Studien 5/6 (1967/68), pp. 52–53, 56 n. 29.
Eckhard Schaar. Kataloghefte des Mittelrhein-Museums Koblenz. Vol. 1, Niederländische Meister. Koblenz, 1968, p. 12, under no. M12, as a work of the middle period.
Werner Sumowski. Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schüler. Vol. 2, G. van den Eeckhout–I. de Joudreville. Landau/Pfalz, 1983–[94?], pp. 1292–93, no. 828, ill. p. 1311, as "Die Verkündigung an Maria," location unknown; dates it about 1665–75.
Ann Jensen Adams. Dutch and Flemish Paintings from New York Private Collections. Exh. cat., National Academy of Design. New York, 1988, p. 75, no. 26, ill. p. 59 (color, reversed), as "The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception," lent by the Ian Woodner Family Collection, Inc.
Michiel Roscam Abbing with the assistance of Peter Thissen. De schilder & schrijver Samuel van Hoogstraten 1627–1678: Eigentijdse bronnen & oeuvre van gesigneerde schilderijen. Leiden, 1993, p. 90, no. 41, ill. p. 140, suggests that this work may be identified with "Een Marijen-beelt van Hooghstraeten" listed in the January 19, 1671 estate inventory of Myken Willems Bidloo, widow of Marcelis Adriaensz Bacx [Gemeente Archief Dordrecht, Oud Notarieel Archief, 363, sub dato].
Celeste Brusati. Artifice and Illusion: The Art and Writing of Samuel van Hoogstraten. Chicago, 1995, pp. 21, 355, no. 51, fig. 14.
Esmée Quodbach. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 65 (Summer 2007), pp. 22, 64, fig. 77 (color).
Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, pp. xi, 374–76, no. 91, colorpl. 91.