Max J. Friedländer. Von Eyck bis Bruegel: Studien zur Geschichte der Niederländischen Malerei. Berlin, 1916, pp. 21, 174, lists it, with works by Christus, as in the private collection of Fr. Kleinberger; mentions the illegible inscription.
Max J. Friedländer. Die altniederländische Malerei. Vol. 1, Die Van Eyck, Petrus Christus. Berlin, 1924, p. 149, pl. 57, as definitely by Christus, and in the private collection of F. Kleinberger, Paris.
[Hippolyte] Fierens-Gevaert. Histoire de la peinture flamande des origines à la fin du XVe siècle. Vol. 2, Les continuateurs des Van Eyck. Paris, 1928, p. 91, pl. 70, fig. 117, as in the Kleinberger collection; mentions that Christus reproduced this work in the background of his "Portrait of a Young Man" (National Gallery, London).
Ella S. Siple. "Recent Acquisitions in America." Burlington Magazine 60 (1932), p. 110.
Wolfgang Schöne. Dieric Bouts und seine Schule. Berlin, 1938, p. 57, no. 23.
Germain Bazin. "Petrus Christus et les rapports entre l'Italie et la Flandre au milieu du XVe siècle." Revue des arts 4 (December 1952), p. 200 n. 25, p. 202, compares it with Antonello's "Salvador Mundi" (National Gallery, London); considers our painting close to the small "Christ in Majesty" by Christus owned by the poet Sannazaro and described in Pietro de Summonte's letter of 1524 to Marc Antonio Michiel.
Leo van Puyvelde. La peinture flamande au siècle des van Eyck. Paris, 1953, p. 187, mentions it as a signed work by Petrus Christus.
Max J. Friedländer. Early Netherlandish Painting: From van Eyck to Bruegel. Ed. F. Grossmann. English ed. [first ed. 1916]. New York, 1956, p. 15, as now in the collection of Mrs. W. R. Timken, New York.
Josua Bruyn. Van Eyck problemen. Utrecht, 1957, p. 115, says the facial type and nimbus derive from Van Eyck's "Head of Christ," known through copies, and notes that Bouts adopts this subject and expression in his often-repeated type of the Man of Sorrows.
John Rowlands. "A Man of Sorrows by Petrus Christus." Burlington Magazine 104 (October 1962), p. 420, as in the collection of Mrs. W. R. Timken [sic]; mentions it as a signed "Imago Salvatoris coronati" in which appears a decorative cruciform halo similar to that in the Birmingham painting under discussion.
Jacqueline Folie. "Les oeuvres authentifiées des primitifs flamands." Institut Royal du Patrimoine Artistique Bulletin 6 (1963), p. 206, observes that a recent x-ray of this painting reveals a structure totally different from that of authentic works by Christus and appears to indicate a later work; notes further that what remains of the inscription is incompatible with known inscriptions by the artist.
Colin Eisler. "Erik Larsen, Les primitifs flamands au Musée Metropolitain de New York, 1960." Art Bulletin 46 (March 1964), p. 104, observes that "if, as seems most likely, this painting is by Christus, it would have to be a fairly early work, from the 1440's"; suggests that it may originally have been part of an illuminated prayer page like the one attached to the wall in Christus's portrait of a male donor (National Gallery, London); mentions a work reminiscent of ours and similar in size in the Hyde collection, Glens Falls.
Max J. Friedländer et al. Early Netherlandish Painting. Vol. 1, The van Eycks—Petrus Christus. New York, 1967, pp. 84, 95, 110 n. 55, pl. 79, dates it about 1450.
Lola B. Malkis Gellman. "Petrus Christus." PhD diss., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, 1970, pp. 484–85, no. 27, fig. 79, rejects the attribution to Christus but agrees with Friedländer that it probably reflects an Eyckian prototype.
Charles Sterling. "Observations on Petrus Christus." Art Bulletin 53 (March 1971), p. 24, calls this picture and the "Portrait of a Young Man (National Gallery, London) Christus's final works of the 1450s.
Joel M. Upton. "Petrus Christus." PhD diss., Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pa., 1972, pp. 139–43, 152, 154, 179–80 n. 20, pp. 368–72, no. 21, fig. 21, dates it around 1444–50; calls it "a remarkable fusion of the 'imago pietatis' with the Face of Christ or 'vera icon'".
Peter H. Schabacker. Petrus Christus. Utrecht, 1974, pp. 17, 42–43, 46, 73, 80–81, 129–30, no. 2, fig. 2, discusses the inscription; observes that during the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries parchment was not an uncommon support for small pictures and mentions two other examples; suggests that this painting may have served the same function as the head of Christ on parchment, with a prayer inscribed below, that appears in the background of Christus's "Portrait of a Young Man" (National Gallery, London) [see Ref. Eisler 1964]; finds our painting close to or possibly identical with the one mentioned in Summonte's letter [see Ref. Bazin 1952]; dates it about 1444, calling it almost certainly Christus's first independent work; comments on its relationship to his Carthusian of 1446 (MMA 49.7.19) and to Jan van Eyck's late head of Christ known only through copies.
Ursula Panhans-Bühler. Wiener Kunstgeschichtliche Forschungen. Vol. 5, Eklektizismus und Originalität im Werk des Petrus Christus. Vienna, 1978, pp. 11–17, fig. 1, ascribes it to Christus, considers it probably an early work, and compares it with Jan van Eyck's "Head of Christ," which survives only in copies.
André Chastel. "La Véronique." Revue de l'art nos. 40–41 (1978), pp. 75, 82 n. 30.
Ann Tzeutschler Lurie. "A Newly Discovered Eyckian 'St. John the Baptist in a Landscape'." Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 67 (April 1981), pp. 95–96, 115 n. 40, fig. 22, ascribes it to Christus.
Sixten Ringbom. Icon to Narrative: The Rise of the Dramatic Close-up in Fifteenth-century Devotional Painting. rev. ed. Doornspijk, The Netherlands, 1984, p. 148 [first published in Acta Academiae Aboensis, ser. A, Humaniora, 1965, vol. 31, no. 2, same page nos.].
Liana Castelfranchi Vegas. Italie et Flandres dans la peinture du XVe siècle. Milan, 1984, pp. 70, 87, fig. 57 [Italian ed., 1983].
Hans J. van Miegroet. Gerard David. Antwerp, 1989, p. 128, colorpl. 114, illustrates it as by Petrus Christus.
Joel M. Upton. Petrus Christus: His Place in Fifteenth-Century Flemish Painting. University Park, Pa., 1990, p. 1 n. 4, pp. 56–59, 64–65, 70, fig. 58, dates it about 1446.
Marigene H. Butler. "An Investigation of Two Paintings of "The Stigmatization of Saint Francis" Thought to Have Been Painted by Jan van Eyck." Le dessin sous-jacent dans la peinture. Ed. Hélène Verougstraete-Marcq and Roger van Schoute. Colloque 8, Louvain-la-Neuve, 1991, pp. 98, 100 n. 16.
John Oliver Hand. "'Salve sancta facies': Some Thoughts on the Iconography of the 'Head of Christ' by Petrus Christus." Metropolitan Museum Journal 27 (1992), pp. 7–17 nn. 1–2, fig. 1, discusses related images of the head of Christ, and literature and imagery connected with the cult of Veronica and the "imago non manu facta"; suggests that this is the earliest Netherlandish painting of its type, in which the passional head of Christ (with the crown of thorns) is conflated with the non-passional Holy Face; compares it with the "Head of Christ" assigned to the studio of Rogier van der Weyden, on the reverse of Rogier's "Portrait of a Woman" (National Gallery, London), dated about 1450/60.
Maryan W. Ainsworth. Petrus Christus: Renaissance Master of Bruges. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1994, pp. 32, 34, 53, 71, 80, 86–91, 105, 115, 178–79, no. 4, figs. 19, 105, 106 (detail of inscription, diagram showing proportions, and detail infrared reflectograms), ill. p. 87 (color), suggests an early date in Christus's oeuvre despite the fact that the picture is considerably damaged and retouched; notes that the picture is based on Pythagorian ideas, expressing the idealization of the image of Christ according to a strict canon of proportion and observes that the distance between the eyes establishes the base measurement; notes that the technique of the painting and the gothic script in particular follows the handling found in manuscript illumination; concludes that it was conceived as a portrait and should be compared with other portraits such as the "Portrait of a Carthusian" (MMA 49.7.9)
Peter Klein in Maryan W. Ainsworth. "Dendrochronological Analysis of Panels Attributed to Petrus Christus." Petrus Christus: Renaissance Master of Bruges. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1994, p. 215.
John Oliver Hand. "Petrus Christus at the Metropolitan." Apollo 140 (October 1994), p. 50.
Joel M. Upton in Les Primitifs flamands et leur temps. n.p., 1994, p. 365, ill. (color).
Lorne Campbell. "New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art: Petrus Christus." Burlington Magazine 136, no. 1098 (September 1994), p. 639.
Hélène Verougstraete, A. De Schryver, and R. H. Marijnissen. "Peintures sur papier et parchemin marouflés aux XVe et SVIe siècles. L'exemple d'une 'Vierge et enfant' de la suite de Gérard David." Le dessin sous-jacent dans la peinture. Ed. Hélène Verougstraete and Roger van Schoute. Colloque 10, Louvain-la-Neuve, 1995, pp. 97, 103–4 n. 10.
Marta Renger. "Petrus Christus. A Renaissance Artist in Bruges." Kunstchronik 48, no. 3 (March 1995), pp. 96–97, ill.
Marigene H. Butler. "An Investigation of the Philadelphia 'Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmanta'." Jan van Eyck: Two Paintings of "Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata". Philadelphia, 1997, pp. 38, 45 n. 17.
Della Clason Sperling in 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. 84, 96–97, 139, 210, 238, 286, no. 3, ill. (color), dates it about 1445.
John Oliver Hand. "New York. From Van Eyck to Bruegel: Early Netherlandish Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Burlington Magazine 140 (December 1998), p. 854.
Maryan W. Ainsworth in Thomas Kren and Scot McKendrick. Illuminating The Renaissance: The Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe. Exh. cat., J. Paul Getty Museum. Los Angeles, 2003, pp. 41, 82, 94–96, no. 4, ill. (color).
Paula Nuttall. From Flanders to Florence: The Impact of Netherlandish Painting, 1400–1500. New Haven, 2004, pp. 236, 280 n. 12, pl. 262.
Pia Palladino in Fra Angelico. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2005, pp. 172, 175 n. 10.
Catheline Périer-d'Ieteren. Dieric Bouts: The Complete Works. Brussels, 2006, p. 207 n. 11.
Edith Gabrielli. Cosimo Rosselli: catalogo ragionato. Turin, 2007, p. 208, mentions it in connection with Rosselli's "Head of Christ Crowned with Thorns" (private collection, New York), which was inspired by Netherlandish models.
Judie Bogers in Firenze e gli antichi Paesi Bassi 1430–1530, dialoghi tra artisti: da Jan van Eyck a Ghirlandaio, da Memling a Raffaello . . . Ed. Bert W. Meijer. Exh. cat., Palazzo Pitti, Galleria Palatina, Florence. Livorno, 2008, p. 88.
Bette Talvacchia. "Antonello da Messina's Meditation on the Suffering Christ." Around Antonello da Messina: Reintegrating Quattrocento Culture. Ed. Michael W. Kwakkelstein and Bette Talvacchia. Florence, 2014, p. 92, fig. 14.