Richard Bull. Letter to Lord Ashburnham. February 15, 1787 [Northumberland Record Office, f. 106: 554/54; relevant excerpt published in Ref. Bowron 1982], states that "The Diana and Cupid was painted under the direction of Sir William Hamilton, and the receit shews how highly Pompeo rated it. It was thought at Rome to be the best picture he ever made, which perhaps is not saying a great deal".
John Ashburnham, 2nd Earl of Ashburnham. Inventory of John 2nd Earl of Ashburnham's collections at Ashburnham Place. 1793, p. 5 [National Gallery, London], typescript, annotated in long-hand, inscribed: "Orginal receipt from Batoni—Io sottoscritto me obbligo a consegnare il quadro di Diana e Cupido a che mi pagherà trecento zecchini il patto fatto con Signor Morice, Inglese per il medesimo quadro il primo d'Aprile 1762, Pompeo Batoni".
Edgar Peters Bowron. Pompeo Batoni (1708–87) and His British Patrons. Exh. cat., Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood. London, 1982, pp. 10, 46–47, no. 19, ill., calls it "Diana Breaking Cupid's Bow"; suggests that the full-length portrait of Morice (Sir James Graham, Norton Conyers, Yorkshire; autograph replica with Brinsley Ford, London) may have been commissioned as a pendant to this mythological scene, with which it shares nearly identical dimensions, conformity of pose, and similarities among the dogs and landscapes; adds that the Colnaghi Diana may originally have been intended as a pair to a canvas representing "Diana Awakened by a Nymph" (private collection, Milan) which appears to have been left unfinished.
Frank Davis. "Singular Art." Country Life (September 1982), pp. 738–39, fig. 3, calls it "Diana Breaking Cupid's Bow".
Denys Sutton. "Aspects of British Collecting, Part II: VIII, From Rome to Naples." Apollo 116 (December 1982), p. 408, fig. 1, states that "Diana Breaking Cupid's Bow" was painted as a pendant to the portrait of Humphrey Morice in the Brinsley Ford Collection
Hugh Brigstocke. "Classical Painting in Rome in the Age of the Baroque." Apollo 117 (March 1983), p. 60, compares it with Giovanni Battista Gaulli's "Diana the Huntress" (Minneapolis Institute of Arts), which predates Batoni's picture by seventy years.
Keith Christiansen in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1982–1983. New York, 1983, pp. 39–40, ill. (color), notes that "Diana holds Cupid's bow out of reach, as though reproving the boy for misusing it"; states that the belief that William Hamilton was involved in the planning of the picture [Ref. Bull 1787] is incorrect, as he did not assume his position as envoy to the Court of Naples until three years after this picture was painted; adds, however, that Hamilton would surely have approved of its strongly neoclassical design; notes that the figure of Diana is based on the ancient sculpture of the "Sleeping Ariadne" (Vatican Museums, Rome), and suggests that since Batoni rarely employed specific classical models in mythological paintings, the "Diana and Cupid" may have been conceived as a response to his rival, Anton Raphael Mengs, and Mengs' mentor, J. J. Winkelmann; states that Morice commissioned a full-length portrait as a pendant to it, "one version, signed and dated 1762, is in the collection of the late Sir Richard Graham . . . and an autograph replica is in the collection of Brinsley Ford".
Francis Russell in "The Diana and Cupid of Batoni." Christie's Review of the Season 1982. Oxford, 1983, p. 22, ill. p. 23 (color), suggests that Morice commissioned the picture in the spring of 1761; identifies it as "a key work in that sequence of historical pictures in which [Batoni] anticipates the more rigorous neoclassicism of the following generation"; believes that the composition of the full-length portrait of Morice was conceived, however loosely, as a pendant to his "Diana and Cupid".
Anthony M. Clark. Pompeo Batoni. Oxford, 1985, pp. 245, 280–81, no. 235, colorpl. 13.
Colnaghi in America: A Survey to Commemorate the First Decade of Colnaghi New York. New York, 1992, pp. 94, 95, 131, ill. (color, overall and detail), calls it "Diana Breaking Cupid's Bow"; notes that Batoni rarely based his mythological compositions on specific antique sources, but modeled the figure of Diana on the Vatican's celebrated "Ariadne".
Beate Christine Mirsch in Mehr Licht: Europa um 1770. Die bildende Kunst Aufklärung. Exh. cat.Leipzig, 1999, pp. 24–25, no. 7, ill. (color), identifies it as the model for Angelica Kauffmann's "Ariadne Discovered by Bacchus on the Island of Naxos" (Amt der Landeshauptstad, Kultur, Bregenz) of 1764 and her "Bacchus and Ariadne" (Attingham, Shropshire) of between 1769 and 1773
Edgar Peters Bowron and Peter Björn Kerber. Pompeo Batoni: Prince of Painters in Eighteenth-Century Rome. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New Haven, 2007, pp. 49, 62, 176, 179, 187 n. 69, p. 188 n. 131, no. 48, fig. 59 (color).