Max J. Friedländer. Die altniederländische Malerei. Vol. 6, Memling und Gerard David. Berlin, 1928, p. 119, no. 16B, pl. 19l, as by Memling; notes that the perspectival rendering of the architectural frames suggests that our panel, along with a painting of "Two Horses and a Monkey" [now Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam] were once wings to an altarpiece depicting possibly the Adoration of the Magi or the Garden of Eden.
Friedrich Winkler. "An Unknown Portrait of a Woman by Memling." Apollo 7 (Juanuary–June 1928), pp. 9–12, ill., as Memling; dates it before 1480; suggests that the painting is a portrait, which once was on the left interior wing of an altarpiece with a Virgin and Child in the Lichtenstein Collection in Vienna (now Aurora Art Fund Inc., Bucharest, Muzeul National de Arta) as its central panel and a portrait of the woman's husband on the right wing; proposes that the panel with "Two Horses and a Monkey" in the Cardon collection in Brussels (now Museum Boymans-van Beuningen) was the reverse of the MMA picture, as they share measurements, unusual frame, and arrangement of bushes and trees in the background; states that Bode told him that he bought the "portrait" in Florence in the early 1870s for a good friend.
Walter Heil. "The Jules Bache Collection." Art News 27 (April 27, 1929), p. 4.
A Catalogue of Paintings in the Collection of Jules S. Bache. New York, 1929, unpaginated, ill., as "A Portrait of a Lady" by Memling; dates it before 1485; suggests that it was the left wing of a triptych altarpiece with the two horses and a monkey in a landscape and that the lady was the donatrice.
E. M. Sperling. Catalogue of a Loan Exhibition of Flemish Primitives. Exh. cat., F. Kleinberger Galleries, Inc., New York. New York, 1929, p. 76, no. 21, ill.
August L. Mayer. "Die Sammlung Jules Bache in New-York." Pantheon 6 (December 1930), p. 542.
H[ans]. V[ollmer]. in Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. Ed. Hans Vollmer. Vol. 24, Leipzig, 1930, p. 376, as from Memling's middle period.
A Catalogue of Paintings in the Bache Collection. under revision. New York, 1937, unpaginated, no. 24, ill.
George Henry McCall. Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture from 1300–1800: Masterpieces of Art. Ed. William R. Valentiner. Exh. cat., World's Fair. New York, 1939, p. 123, no. 253, pl. 49, as by Memling, dates it before 1480.
E. P. Richardson. "Quentin Massys." Art Quarterly 4 (1941), p. 167, ill., compares our painting with a picture of Mary Magdalen by Quentin Massys in the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Paul Wescher. "Das höfische Bildnis von Philip dem Guten bis Karl V." Pantheon 18 (1941), p. 272, considers it a portrait of Mary of Burgundy.
Regina Shoolman and Charles E. Slatkin. The Enjoyment of Art in America. Philadelphia, 1942, no. 354, ill.
Harry B. Wehle. "The Bache Collection on Loan." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 1 (June 1943), p. 288.
A Catalogue of Paintings in the Bache Collection. rev. ed. New York, 1943, unpaginated, no. 23, ill., as by Memling, painted before 1480.
Grete Ring. "Saint Jerome Extracting the Thorn from the Lion's Foot." Art Bulletin 27, no. 3 (September 1945), p. 192, notes that the landscape and the arched brick doorway which frames the compositions in our panel and the one in Rotterdam are close to those in another painting by Memling depicting Saint Jerome and the Lion [Switzerland, private collection; see Ref. De Vos 1994, no. 67]; speculates that the three pictures were parts of a larger polyptych with other parts of various sizes; suggests an iconographical program which could have united these subjects.
Harry B. Wehle and Margaretta Salinger. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Early Flemish, Dutch and German Paintings. New York, 1947, pp. 64–65, ill., as "apparently a wing of a diptych or polyptych"; note that the "Two Horses and a Monkey" may have been the reverse of our "portrait"; observe that a pink often signifies betrothal.
Millia Davenport. The Book of Costume. New York, 1948, vol. 1, p. 327, no. 859, ill. p. 326 (cropped).
D. Hannema. Catalogue of the D. G. van Beuningen Collection. Rotterdam, 1949, p. 39, observes that the Rotterdam picture may have been taken from an altarpiece representing Paradise or the Adoration of the Magi; mentions our painting, which "probably belongs to the same altarpiece".
Erwin Panofsky. Early Netherlandish Painting: Its Origins and Character. Cambridge, Mass., 1953, vol. 1, pp. 349, 506–507 n. 7; vol. 2, fig. 477, calls it "Portrait of a Young Fiancée" and considers it one of the earliest of Memling's portraits in which the sitter is posed in front of a landscape; rejects suggestions that this panel and the one in Rotterdam were part of an altarpiece or that they formed the front and back of one and the same panel; instead suggests that they originally formed a diptych since the landscape and parapet in the panels are continuous and the vanishing lines of the arches "converge in such a manner that the interval betwen the two pictures cannot have amounted to more than the width of two frames"; interprets the two horses as personifications of the good and bad lover and discusses the symbolic significance of the pink, the steed and the monkey; tentatively suggests that the painting may have been comissioned for an Italian patron in Bruges.
Max J. Friedländer. Early Netherlandish Painting: From van Eyck to Bruegel. Ed. F. Grossmann. English ed. [first ed. 1916]. New York, 1956, pl. 122.
Erik Larsen. Les primitifs flamands au Musée Metropolitain de New York. Utrecht, 1960, p. 7, notes that the painting was intentionally omitted because he doubts it is authograph.
R. H. Wilenski. Flemish Painters, 1430–1830. New York, 1960, vol. 1, 40, 42, 44, 48–49, 68; vol. 2, pl. 71, ascribes it to an "unrecorded artist" who may have been active between 1467 and 1476.
Catalogus schilderijen tot 1800. Rotterdam, 1962, pp. 88–89.
Colin Eisler. "Erik Larsen, Les primitifs flamands au Musée Metropolitain de New York, 1960." Art Bulletin 46 (March 1964), p. 100, rejects Larsen's doubts about the authenticity of our painting and observes that, along with its companion piece in Rotterdam, it is "conceived and executed with a freshness and originality placing it among Memling's finest works".
Giorgio T. Faggin. L'opera completa di Memling. Milan, 1969, p. 108, no. 86 A, ill., and pl. LXIII A (color), notes that this picture was in the collection of H. Vieweg, Braunschweig until 1926, and passed through the firm of Teppelmann, Braunschweig, in 1926 before it went to P. Cassirer, Berlin.
Max J. Friedländer et al. Early Netherlandish Painting. Vol. 6, Hans Memlinc and Gerard David. New York, 1971, p. 48, no. 16B, pl. 55.
K. B. McFarlane with the assistance of G. L. Harris. Hans Memling. Ed. Edgar Wind. Oxford, 1971, pp. 41–42 n. 51, fig. 137, places the MMA and Rotterdam panels after 1480 on the basis of the derivation of the horses in the latter from Memling's Seven Joys of Mary (Alte Pinakothek, Munich); suggests that the Rotterdam panel may be primarily a workshop product; finds it "intolerable" to imagine this panel and the horses in Rotterdam joined as a diptych (see Ref. Panofsky 1953), suggesting instead that they were parts of a polyptych, of which two panels are now missing—one representing the bridegroom and the other "presumably a pair of unicorns controlled by a cupid"; suggests that the "portrait" was an Italian comission.
Norbert Schneider. "Zur Ikonographie vom Memlings 'Die sieben Freuden Mariens'." Münchner Jahrbuch der bildenden Kunst, 3rd ser., 24 (1973), pp. 27–28, 32 n. 51, establishes an iconographical relationship between our painting, its companion piece in Rotterdam and Memling's "Seven Joys of the Virgin" (Alte Pinakothek, Munich); comments on the implied bethrothal context of these works, the symbolic significance of the horse looking in the direction of Catherina Van Ryebeke in the Munich picture and the horse looking in the direction of the young woman in our painting; interprets the ape—another shared motif—as a diabolic symbol of Libido.
Przemyslaw Trzeciak. Hans Memling. Berlin, 1977, no. 23, suggests that our panel and the one in Rotterdam were part of a polyptych to which the portrait of the betrothed and an allegorical depiction of the sentiments of the wife would also have belonged; suggests that the latter may have included a Unicorn, symbol of Purity, and Cupid, Roman god of Love.
Barbara G. Lane. Hans Memling: Werkverzeichnis. Frankfurt, 1980, p. 94, 97A, ill., lists it with disputed works.
M. Comblen-Sonkes with the collaboration of Ignace Vandevivere. Les Musées de l'Institut de France [Les primitifs flamands, 1 Corpus de la peinture des anciens pays-bas mérodionaux au quinzième siècle, vol. 15]. Vol. 15, Brussels, 1988, pp. 79–80, mentions the two panels in relation to the similarly enigmatc "Allegory" in the Musée Jacquemart–André, Paris, attributed to Memling.
Guy C. Bauman. Letter to J. Giltaij. May 2, 1988, strongly doubts the attribution to Memling and suggests that it is a work by "an anonymous imitator of about 1480, much like the Margaret of York portrait in the Louvre (R.F. 1938–17)"; considers our painting of very mediocre quality; considers our and the Rotterdam panels as the interior and exterior respectively of the same wing.
Angelica Dülberg. Privatporträts: Geschichte und Ikonologie einer Gattung im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert. Berlin, 1990, p. 233, no. 176, fig. 144, attributes it to Memling; dates it and its Rotterdam companion piece ("Reverse ?") before 1480; suggests that the reconstruction of the panels as a wing, or wings, of a diptych or triptych must be considered only a hypothesis because pictorial parallels, written sources and physical examinations are lacking.
Dirk De Vos. Hans Memling: The Complete Works. Ghent, 1994, pp. 107, 176, 184, 245, 252, 264–67, 308, 391–92, no. 73, ill. (color, overall and detail)
, attributes our work unquestionably to Memling, instisting that the figure is not a portrait but an "Allegory of Love" to be understood within the context of its companion picture, showing two horses and a monkey, which symbolizes lust and faithfulness; notes that this type of "emblematic representation" was popular in Italy; dates it about 1485–90, althought it could be pushed back as far as 1484 in view of dendrochronological analysis; adds that "the view that this is a portrait continues to this day to provoke the misconception that the painting is of lesser quality".
Dirk De Vos. Hans Memling: Catalogue. Exh. cat., Groeninge Museum, Bruges. Ghent, 1994, pp. 27, 50, 84, 92, 114, 124–27, 148, no. 31, ill. (color), titles the New York and the Rotterdam panels "Diptych with the Allegory of True Love"; notes that dendrochronological analysis has confirmed that the two panels were both cut from the same tree but could not have been front and back of the same painting; agrees with Panofsky that the peculiar perspectival construction of the two scenes suggests that they were meant to be seen side by side in a diptych format; rules out the possibility that our painting is a portrait as the physiognomy of the lady corresponds to a general female type characteristic of Memling; suggests that the "purely emblematic character of the representation" is further underscored by her old–fashioned headdress and attire; ponders upon the symbolic significance of the contrast between the newly constructed arch depicted in our panel and the decrepit arch in the companion piece in Rotterdam.
Peter Klein. "Dendrochronological Analysis of Panels of Hans Memling." Hans Memling: Essays. Ed. Dirk De Vos. Ghent, 1994, pp. 102–3, establishes a terminus post quem of 1480 for this picture; believes this panel and its companion piece in Rotterdam came from the same tree, but that "the outside (direction towards the bark) and the inner side (direction towards the pith) of the tree are in the same position in the two panels and therefore it is not possible that one panel was split".
"Exhibition of the Year: 'Hans Memling: Five Hundred Years of Fact and Fantasy,' Groeningenmuseum, Bruges." Apollo (December 1994), p. 3.
Jeroen Giltay in "Dutch and Flemish Painting in the Collection of the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen." Van Eyck to Bruegel. Rotterdam, 1994, pp. 151–53, ill. (color), suggests that the companion piece in Rotterdam should more probably be dated in or after 1490; observes some differences in execution between the two panels, pointing out features in our work which are not characteristic of Memling: the arms are long and thin and the face does not have Memling's typical heavy-lidded eyes; notes that the attribution of the Rotterdam painting to Memling "was never doubted in the past," but uncertainty about our picture seems to reflect unfavorably on its companion piece.
Lorne Campbell. "Hans Memling, The Complete Works. By Dirk De Vos, 1994." Burlington Magazine 137 (April 1995), pp. 253-54, considers our panel a workshop copy and, based on dendrochronological analysis, suggests it is unlikely to have been painted before 1485; comments on features of the woman's costume which were "misunderstood" by the painter.
Lothar Dittrich and Sigrid Dittrich. "Der Pferdeschädel als Symbol in der niederländischen Malerei des 17. Jahrhunderts." Niederdeutsche Beiträge zur Kunstgeschichte 34 (1995), pp. 111–12, ill.
Lorne Campbell. "Bruges: Hans Memling." Burlington Magazine 137 (April 1995), p. 264.
Frédéric Elsig. "La 'Passion' de Turin: Un séjour de Memling à la cour de Savoie en 1476?" Histoire de l'art no. 39 (October 1997), p. 95, as Memling; calls our and the Rotterdam panels a diptych of the "L'amour courtois"; discusses our painting in the context of a hypothetical stay of Memling in the Court of Savoy in the early 1470s; uses the provenance record to the Ganniba Collection as a further evidence for that.
Mary Sprinson de Jesús 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. 71, 74, 174–76, no. 32, ill. (color), dates it about 1485–90; catalogues it as "Attributed to Hans Memling" but notes that questions of quality remain, even in comparison with the Rotterdam panel, which could more plausibly be ascribed to Memling; considers it an allegorical representation rather than a portrait; compares the execution of the landscape with that of the otherwise authograph "Portrait of a Man" (Uffizi, Florence) and perhaps also the exterior wings of the Pagagnotti Altarpiece (National Gallery, London).
Charles Sterling and Maryan W. Ainsworth in The Robert Lehman Collection. Vol. 2, Fifteenth- to Eighteenth-Century European Paintings. New York, 1998, pp. 9–10 n. 4.
Michael Rohlmann. "Flanders and Italy, Flanders and Florence. Early Netherlandish Painting in Italy and its Particular Influence on Florentine Art: An Overview." Italy and the Low Countries—Artistic Relations: The Fifteenth Century. Florence, 1999, p. 57 n.2, includes it in a list of Flemish works that came from Italy, "of which the precise origins are unknown".
Mund et al. The Mayer van den Bergh Museum, Antwerp. Brussels, 2003, p. 200 n. 11, refer to it as "the 'Young Woman with a Pink' by Hans Memling" and maintain that it must be seen as [part of] an allegorical ensemble rather than as a portrait.
Lorne Campbell in Memling's Portraits. Ed. Till-Holger Borchert. Exh. cat., Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid. Ghent, 2005, p. 56.
Peter Klein in Memling's Portraits. Ed. Till-Holger Borchert. Exh. cat., Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid. Ghent, 2005, p. 181, provides a tabulated dendrochronological analysis of panels attributed to Hans Memling.
John Oliver Hand et al. Prayers and Portraits: Unfolding the Netherlandish Diptych. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 2006, pp. 186–88, 319–20 nn. 5,6, 9, no. 27, ill. (color, overall and detail).
Peter Klein. "Unfolding the Netherlandish Diptych: Dendrochronological Analyses." Essays in Context: Unfolding the Netherlandish Diptych. Ed. John Oliver Hand and Ron Spronk. Cambridge, Mass., 2006, p. 220.
Nico van Hout et al. Anmut und Andacht: Das Diptychon im Zeitalter von Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling und Rogier van der Weyden. Exh. cat., Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp. Stuttgart, 2007, pp. 24, 94–95, no. 28, ill. (color) [shorter European cat., which also appeared in French and Dutch, based on Washington cat., "Prayers and Portraits: Unfolding the Netherlandish Diptych"].
Everett Fahy in Art and Love in Renaissance Italy. Ed. Andrea Bayer. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2008, p. 20.
Barbara G. Lane. Hans Memling: Master Painter in Fifteenth-Century Bruges. London, 2009, pp. 329–30, 336, no. B10a, fig. 269A.