William Graham. Letter to Edward Burne-Jones. May 30, 1868 [see Ref. Garnett 1982], places his watercolor by Burne-Jones of Chant d'Amour at the artist's disposal "to facilitate your wish to paint [the subject] in oils".
Grosvenor Notes: with Facsimiles of Sketches by the Artists. Exh. cat., Grosvenor Gallery. London, 1878, p. 36, no. 108, ill. (line engraving), as Le Chant d'Amour, painted in 1873, the entry accompanied by the lines "Hélas, je sais un chant d'amour, / Triste ou gai tour à tour".
[Henry James]. "The London Exhibitions—The Grosvenor Gallery." The Nation (May 23, 1878), p. 338 [reprinted in John L. Sweeney, ed., "The Painter's Eye," London, 1956, pp. 162–64], finds the figures "too flat," but the color "a brilliant success," "like some mellow Giorgione or some richly-glowing Titian," and praises Burne-Jones's pictures as "far and away the most interesting and remarkable things in the exhibition".
William Mallock. "A Familiar Colloquy on Recent Art." The Nineteenth Century 4 (July 1878), p. 295, parodying contemporary art criticism in the words of the fictional Ruskinian Gage Stanley, finds in this painting the "languor of exhausted animalism".
"The Grosvenor Gallery: Second Notice." Magazine of Art 1 (1878), p. 81, praises the "beauty of colour" and "heart-piercing pathos" of the picture, Burne-Jones's finest of the season, but criticizes the artist as "self-consciously imitative".
"The Grosvenor Gallery (Second and concluding Notice.)." Athenæum no. 2638 (May 18, 1878), p. 642.
"The Grosvenor Gallery." Art-Journal 17 (June 1878), p. 155, as one of "the most Venetian examples of colour ever seen out of the studio of Gabriel Rossetti".
"The Picture Galleries." Saturday Review (May 4, 1878), p. 561.
"The Grosvenor Gallery (2nd Notice)." Spectator (May 18, 1878), p. 637.
Frederick Wedmore. Studies in English Art. 2nd ser., London, 1880, pp. 214, 223, 225–26.
Walter Hamilton. The Æsthetic Movement in England. London, 1882, p. 25.
Catalogue of Pictures, Ancient and Modern, 35 Grosvenor Place. 1882, no. 2 [see Ref. Garnett 1982].
"The Graham Collection." Times (April 5, 1886), p. 12, records the 3,150 guineas paid by Agnew as the highest price for any work by Burne-Jones, and nearly three times that paid by Graham in 1878.
Thomas W. Harris in The Pictorial Record of the Royal Jubilee Exhibition, Manchester, 1887. Manchester, 1887, p. 29.
Julia Cartwright. "Edward Burne-Jones, A.R.A." Art-Journal, n.s., (January 1893), p. 6.
Malcolm Bell. Sir Edward Burne-Jones: A Record and Review. London, 1894, pp. 22, 28, 39, 47–48, 53, ill. opp. p. 42, dates it 1868–77; mentions the earliest version, on the piano, and dates the watercolor and the variant watercolor without the figure of Love (Knight in Armour with a Lady) 1865.
Olivier Georges Destrée. Les Préraphaélites: Notes sur l'art décoratif et la peinture en Angleterre. Brussels, , p. 94.
Claude Phillips. "The Ruston Collection: The Modern Pictures—II." Magazine of Art 17 (1894), p. 97, ill. opp. p. 100, as dating back "as far as 1865".
G. B. "Artisti contemporanei: Sir Edward Burne-Jones, II." Emporium 3 (January 1896), pp. 37, 41, 54–55.
Richard Muther. The History of Modern Painting. 3, London, 1896, p. 612, ill. p. 596.
A[lfred]. G[eorge]. Temple. The Art of Painting in the Queen's Reign. London, 1897, pp. 126–27, ill. opp. p. 126.
Julia Cartwright. "In Memoriam—Edward Burne-Jones." Art-Journal, n.s., (1898), p. 248.
Robert de La Sizeranne. "In Memoriam: Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Bart.: A Tribute from France." Magazine of Art 22 (1898), p. 520.
John Atwood Slater. "An Ethical Retrospect of the Work of Burne-Jones." The Architectural Review: For the Artist & Craftsman 6 (June–December 1899), p. 75.
Percy H. Bate. The English Pre-Raphaelite Painters, their Associates and Successors. London, 1899, pp. 105–6.
Mrs. Arthur Bell (N. d'Anvers). Representative Painters of the XIXth Century. London, 1899, p. 35.
Léonce Bénédite. "Deux idéalistes: Gustave Moreau et E. Burne-Jones." Revue de l'art ancien et moderne 5 (January–June 1899), pp. 268, 368, 371, ill.
Robert de La Sizeranne. La Peinture anglaise contemporaine. 2nd ed. Paris, 1899, pp. 190, 197–99, 210.
Cosmo Monkhouse. British Contemporary Artists. London, 1899, pp. 136, 141–42.
Aymer Vallance. "The Decorative Art of Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Baronet." Art-Journal Easter issue (1900), p. 22.
Julia Cartwright. "Burne-Jones." Gazette des beaux-arts, 3rd ser., 24 (1900), pp. 33, 38.
O. von Schleinitz. Burne-Jones. Bielefeld, 1901, p. 52, pl. 16.
Masters in Art: Burne-Jones 2 (July 1901), pp. 37–38, pl. 9.
Richard Muther. Geschichte der englischen Malerei. Berlin, 1903, pp. 230–31, ill.
G[eorgiana] B[urne]-J[ones]. Memorials of Edward Burne-Jones. New York, 1904, vol. 1, p. 207; vol. 2, p. 30, in 1872, he "Painted on the large 'Chant d'Amour'".
Fortunée De Lisle. Burne-Jones. London, 1904, pp. 108–10, ill. opp. p. 109.
Alfredo Melani. Nell'arte e nella vita. Milan, 1904, p. 92, dates it 1873.
Royal Cortissoz. "Edward Burne-Jones." Munsey's Magazine (February 1907), p. 584.
"Le Chant d'Amour." Scrip 2 (May 1907), p. 246.
A. Agresti. I Prerafaellisti. Turin, 1908, p. 310.
Kenyon Cox. Old Masters and New. New York, 1908, p. 177.
Virginia Calhoun. "A Model for Many Famous Painters: The Career of Antonio Corsi, Who Has Posed for Many of the Most Celebrated Modern Pictures Here and Abroad." World's Work 16 (June 1908), p. 10344, claims that Corsi modelled for Burne-Jones off and on for seven or eight years, and that this is one of the pictures for which he posed.
Charles Ricketts and Robert Ross. "The Franco-British Exhibition." Burlington Magazine 13 (July 1908), p. 197.
Gabriel Mourey. D.-G. Rossetti et les Préraphaélites Anglais. Paris, , p. 99, ill. opp. p. 108.
Walter Armstrong. Art in Great Britain and Ireland. New York, 1921, p. 234, fig. 424.
Léonce Bénédite. Notre art, nos maîtres. Paris, [ca. 1922], p. 196.
Bryson Burroughs. "A Modern View of the Pre-Raphaelites." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 5 (May 1947), ill. p. 231, dates it 1868–77.
Catalogue of Paintings and Drawings in Water Color. Boston, 1949, p. 50, notes that both the Boston watercolor and the oil version were owned by Graham.
Aurelien Digeon. The English School of Painting. London, , p. 120.
The Pre-Raphaelites. Exh. cat., Herron Museum of Art. Indianapolis, 1964, unpaginated, under no. 11.
Michael I. Wilson. "The Case of the Victorian Piano." Victoria and Albert Museum Yearbook 3 (1972), p. 140, explains that on the inside of the keyboard cover of a small piano received as a wedding gift in 1860 Burne-Jones painted "two white-clad figures (one personifying Love) with a portable organ" [fig. 8]—a composition foreshadowing the present picture.
Martin Harrison and Bill Waters. Burne-Jones. New York, 1973, pp. 49, 66, 98, colorpl. 15 [2nd ed., Barrie & Jenkins, London, 1989], date it 1868–73; assign the group on the piano to about 1864 [fig. 46]; call a pencil sketch of about 1861 a possible early idea for the composition [fig. 55]; mention the appearance of the subject in the portrait of Maria Zambaco.
Martin Harrison. Pre-Raphaelite Paintings and Graphics. 2nd ed. London, 1974, p. 7.
John Christian. Burne-Jones: The paintings, graphic and decorative work of Sir Edward Burne-Jones, 1833–98. Exh. cat., Hayward Gallery. London, 1975, pp. 10, 41, 48, dates it 1868–77.
Denys Sutton. "Celtic and Classical Dreams." Apollo 102 (November 1975), pp. 315–16, fig. 2, incorrectly as exhibited at the Hayward Gallery, 1975.
Michael I. Wilson. "Burne-Jones and Piano Reform." Apollo 102 (November 1975), p. 342, dates it 1868–77.
Penelope Fitzgerald. Edward Burne-Jones: A Biography. London, 1975, pp. 97, 182, notes that the flowers are tulips and wall-flowers, emblems respectively of ardent love and bitterness in the Victorian iconography of flowers.
Barrie Bullen. "The Palace of Art: Sir Coutts Lindsay and the Grosvenor Gallery." Apollo 102 (November 1975), p. 356, notes that for Mallock in 1875 it summed up the "modern pursuit of godless and fleshly pleasure".
Oliver Garnett. Letter to Sir John Pope-Hennessy. September 27, 1982, quotes from a letter from William Graham to Burne-Jones, dated by Lady Burne-Jones May 30, 1868 (Burne-Jones Papers, Fitzwilliam Museum, XXV.11A).
L. O. [Leonée Ormond?]. "Edward Burne-Jones and John Christian, The Little Holland House Album . . . ." Burlington Magazine 124 (March 1982), p. 200, mentions a drawing in the album for Keats's La Belle Dame Sans Merci as an early prototype for the painting, of 1868–73.
John Christian in The Pre-Raphaelites. Exh. cat., Tate Gallery. London, 1984, pp. 227–29, 236, no. 149, ill. (color), dates it 1868–77, calling it "one of Burne-Jones's most hauntingly poetical works"; describes the role of William Graham as the artist's patron.
Denys Sutton. "Aspects of British Collecting, Part IV: XV The Age of Robert Browning." Apollo 123 (August 1985), pp. 96–97, fig. 3, remarks that it possesses "that romantic 'Giorgionismo' deeply attractive to fin de siècle aesthetes".
Maria Teresa Benedetti and Gianna Piantoni in Burne-Jones: dal preraffaellismo al simbolismo. Exh. cat., Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome. Milan, 1986, pp. 22, 165, ill. p. 21, mention it as a version of the Boston watercolor which appears as an illustration in the book held by Maria Zambaco in her portrait by Burne-Jones.
Oliver Garnett in Burne-Jones: dal preraffaellismo al simbolismo. Exh. cat., Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome. Milan, 1986, pp. 88–89.
Drawings, Watercolours and Paintings from the Collection of the late Sir John and Lady Witt. Sotheby's, London. February 19, 1987, under no. 173, describe a closely corresponding drawing signed EBJ / to / JCC.
Jean Clair and Guy Cogeval in Lost Paradise: Symbolist Europe. Exh. cat., Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Montreal, 1995, pp. 135, 199, no. 37, colorpl. 270, date it 1868–77; attach symbolic meaning to the flowers in the foreground and call the knight's bare feet a sign of submission; note disjunctive elements in the painting "on the theme of seduction and absorption in love," a version of the "belle dame sans merci" topos.
Dominique Jarrassé. Les Préraphaélites. Paris, 1995, p. 64, ill. p. 11 (color).
Susan P. Casteras in The Grosvenor Gallery: A Palace of Art in Victorian England. Exh. cat., Yale Center for British Art, Yale University. New Haven, 1996, pp. 83–84, 192, no. 8, fig. 42, comments on the criticism of this canvas and another of Burne-Jones's entries, Laus Veneris (Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne), in the 1878 exhibition of the Grosvenor Gallery.
Malcolm Warner in The Victorians: British Painting 1837–1901. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1997, pp. 141–42, no. 38, ill. (color).
Stephen Wildman and John Christian. Edward Burne-Jones: Victorian Artist-Dreamer. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1998, pp. 59, 99, 109, 143, 145–46, 167, 196, 212–15, 239–40, no. 84, ill. (color), note that according to Burne-Jones's work record (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge), it was painted in 1868, 1872–73, and 1877; add that Graham regarded it as the pendant to Laus Veneris, and that both were enlarged from earlier watercolors.
Alan Crawford. "Burne-Jones as a Decorative Artist." Edward Burne-Jones: Victorian Artist-Dreamer. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1998, p. 5.
Laurence des Cars. "Burne-Jones and France." Edward Burne-Jones: Victorian Artist-Dreamer. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1998, p. 36.
Christopher Newall. "Burne-Jones." Apollo 148 (August 1998), p. 50.
Robert Hughes. "An Escapist's Dreamworld: Modern Taste Rediscovers the Work of Edward Burne-Jones." Time (June 15, 1998), p. 76, ill.
Oliver Garnett. "The Letters and Collection of William Graham—Pre-Raphaelite Patron and Pre-Raphael Collector." Walpole Society 62 (2000), pp. 166–68, 225, no. A57, p. 249, no. B1, p. 256, nos. B12, B13, p. 259, no. B17, pp. 261–62, no. B20, p. 287, no. b4, fig. 117.
Peter Nørgaard Larsen in Symbolism in Danish and European Painting 1870–1910. Exh. cat., Statens Museum for Kunst. [Copenhagen], 2000, p. 107, ill. color pp. 92, 107 (detail and overall).
Louise Straarup-Hansen in Symbolism in Danish and European Painting 1870–1910. Exh. cat., Statens Museum for Kunst. [Copenhagen], 2000, p. 300, no. 58, ill. (color), dates it 1868–77.
Statens Museum for Kunst. Symbolism in Danish and European Painting 1870–1910: Guide to the Exhibition. [Copenhagen], 2000, p. 42, no. 58.
Paul Mitchell and Lynn Roberts. "Burne-Jones's Picture Frames." Burlington Magazine 142 (June 2000), p. 367, describe this painting's frame as a Venetian type probably adapted from one sketched by the artist in Venice in 1871 or 1873.
Malcolm Warner et al. Great British Paintings from American Collections: Holbein to Hockney. Exh. cat., Yale Center for British Art, Yale University. New Haven, 2001, pp. 204–6, 208, no. 62, ill. (color), dates it 1868–77 and calls it an homage to the painters of the Venetian Renaissance.
Important British Pictures. Sotheby's, London. June 12, 2003, p. 78.
David Peters Corbett. Edward Burne-Jones. London, 2004, pp. 32, 39.
Susan P. Casteras in Artist as Narrator: Nineteenth Century Narrative Art in England and France. Exh. cat., Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Oklahoma City, 2005, pp. 56, 59, 63, 80 n. 4, p. 133, no. 11, ill. p. 57 (color), dates it 1868–77.
Sophia Andres. The Pre-Raphaelite Art of the Victorian Novel: Narrative Challenges to Visual Gendered Boundaries. Columbus, 2005, pp. 137, 140.
Masterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 77, 216–17, no. 71, ill. (color and black and white).
Victorian and Edwardian Art. Sotheby's, London. July 15, 2008, pp. 30, 32, under no. 14, fig. 1.
Katharine Baetjer. British Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1575–1875. New York, 2009, pp. 290–93, no. 138, ill. (color).
Jason Rosenfeld. E-mail to Keith Christiansen. October 7, 2012, notes that the frame is original and consistent with those on other paintings of the 1870s by Burne-Jones.