[Jules] Castagnary. "Salon de 1868 (10e article)." Le Siècle (June 26, 1868), p. 2, remarks that this picture and "Phryne" do not appear to represent virtue and vice, adding that the subject matter is only apparent from their titles.
[André Gill]. Gill-revue: Le salon pour rire (1868), p. 5, reproduces caricatures of this painting and its pendant.
Marius Chaumelin. "Salon de 1868." La Presse (1868) [reprinted in Chaumelin, "L'Art contemporain," Paris, 1873, pp. 122, 126–27], praises this picture.
Louis Auvray. Exposition des Beaux-Arts: Salon de 1868. Paris, 1868, pp. 44, 47–48.
T. Thoré. Salon de 1868 (1868) [reprinted in T. Thoré, "Salons de W. Bürger, 1861 à 1868," vol. 2, Paris, 1870, pp. 464–66], states that this painting and "Phryne" are said to have been sold for Fr 28,000.
Raoul de Navery. Le Salon de 1868. Paris, 1868, pp. 32–33, notes that this picture and "Phryne" were said to have been purchased on the opening morning of the Salon by an "Américain enthousiaste" for Fr 30,000.
J. Grangedor. "Le Salon de 1868 (2e et dernier article)." Gazette des beaux-arts 25 (July 1868), p. 12, comments that this painting and "Phryne" do not clearly represent moral opposites as intended by the artist.
Arsène Houssaye. "Salon de 1868, introduction." L'Artiste (May 1868), p. 247, praises this picture.
L'Artiste (June 1868), pp. 304–5, ill. (engraving), publishes an anonymous sonnet called "Penelope" and an engraving after this painting.
Philip Gilbert Hamerton. Painting in France After the Decline of Classicism. London, 1869, pp. 35–36, remarks that it "was painted only to give the force of contrast to" its pendant, "Phryne," noting that both sold for £1200.
Marius Chaumelin. "Salon de 1869." L'Indépendance Belge (1869) [reprinted in Chaumelin, "L'Art contemporain," Paris, 1873, p. 240], notes the influence of this picture and "Phryne" on two paintings by Emile Saintin called "Fleurs de fête" and "Fleurs de deuil".
Arsène Houssaye. Les Parisiennes. Vol. 3, Les Femmes adultères. Paris, 1869, ill., frontispiece (engraving by Nargeot and Cucinotta).
Jules Claretie. Peintres et sculpteurs contemporains. Paris, 1873, p. 234.
Philippe Burty. "Nécrologie." La République française (1877) [reprinted in "L'Art" 9 (1877), p. 48], compares it to a banal illustration.
Edward Strahan [Earl Shinn], ed. The Art Treasures of America. Philadelphia, , vol. 1, p. 129; vol. 2, pp. 71–72, 74, notes the popularity of the engraving after this painting.
Eugène Montrosier. "Art contemporain: Marchal." Les Chefs-d'œuvre d'art au Luxembourg. Ed. Eugène Montrosier. Paris, 1881, p. 107, reproduces a drawing related to our painting and another related to "Phyrne" (both, whereabouts unknown).
Victor Fournel. Les Artistes français contemporains: Peintres—sculpteurs. Tours, 1884, pp. 413–15, comments that the public's enthusiasm is disproportionate to the painting's artistic value; notes that Marchal never again achieved the success brought to him by this picture and its pendant.
Clarence Cook. Art and Artists of Our Time. New York, 1888, vol. 1, p. 66.
Jules Breton. The Life of an Artist: Art and Nature. New York, 1891, p. 273.
Henry Marcel. La Peinture française au XIXe siècle. Paris, 1905, p. 219.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 2, XIX Century. New York, 1966, pp. 177–78, ill., state that Probasco was probably the American who purchased this work and its pendant from the Salon; mention a smaller painting of Penelope by Marchal, sold in New York in 1882 [see Notes].
Joachim Heusinger von Waldegg. "Jean-Léon Gérôme's 'Phryne vor den Richtern'." Jahrbuch der Hamburger Kunstsammlungen 17 (1972), p. 141, fig. 19 (caricature).
Susan Sidlauskas. "Resisting Narrative: The Problem of Edgar Degas's Interior." Art Bulletin 75 (December 1993), p. 689, fig. 18, dates it 1867.
T. J. Clark. The Painting of Modern Life: Paris in the Art of Manet and His Followers. revised ed. (lst ed. 1984). Princeton, 1999, pp. 113, 294 n. 118.
Ivan Gaskell. Vermeer's Wager: Speculations on Art History, Theory and Art Museums. London, 2000, p. 134, fig. 51.
Bernard Vouilloux. Le Tableau vivant: Phyrné, l'orateur et le peintre. Paris, 2002, p. 50.
Christiane Dotal. "Femmes mythiques et légendaires comme allégories modernes au XIXe siècle." L'artiste et sa muse. Ed. Virginie Schmitt. Rome, 2006, pp. 47–49, 58, 60 n. 21, fig. 3, observes that Penelope is depicted as a "parisienne moderne" wearing a Worth gown.
Justine De Young in Impressionism, Fashion, & Modernity. Ed. Gloria Groom. Exh. cat., Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Chicago, 2012, p. 235 [French ed., "L'Impressionnisme et la Mode," Paris, 2012, p. 259], calls it and its pendant, "Phryne" (location unknown), the most discussed paintings of the 1868 Salon; casts her as the ideal wife.