Max J. Friedländer. Letter (presumably to M. Knoedler & Co.). November 14, 1935, considers it a key work by Patinir in an excellent state of preservation.
Harry B. Wehle. "A Triptych by Patinir." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 31 (April 1936), pp. 80–84, ill., identifies the grisaille figure on the right exterior wing as Saint Sebald, the patron saint of Nuremberg, but scarcely known outside Germany; notes that the subject of the left exterior wing is the "Mutter Anna Selbdritt," a popular German motif in which Saint Anne holds a miniature Virgin and Child in her arms; concludes that the altarpiece was produced for Germany and speculates that Patinir obtained the commission through Albrecht Dürer's intercession.
Max J. Friedländer. "Pieter Bruegel und Nachträge zu den früheren Bänden." Die altniederländische Malerei. 14, Leiden, 1937, pp. 118–19, nachtr. pl. 29, states that both landscape and figures are from the hand of Patinir.
Harry B. Wehle and Margaretta Salinger. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Early Flemish, Dutch and German Paintings. New York, 1947, pp. 115–17, ill., note that the Baptism scene recalls Gerard David's Baptism of about 1508 in Bruges [Groeninge Museum] and that the Temptation of Saint Anthony with its hybrid plant and animal monsters "would be unthinkable without the example of Hieronymus Bosch".
Art Treasures of the Metropolitan: A Selection from the European and Asiatic Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1952, p. 227, no. 100, colorpl. 100.
Erwin Panofsky. Early Netherlandish Painting: Its Origins and Character. Cambridge, Mass., 1953, vol. 1, p. 448 n. 6 (to p. 218), mentions this altarpiece among a number of later Netherlandish examples in which the wings are slightly higher than the central panel.
Maurice W. Brockwell. "A Little Known Landscape Painter: Lucas Gassel's 'Baptism of Christ'." Connoisseur 138 (September 1956), p. 18.
Erik Larsen. Les primitifs flamands au Musée Metropolitain de New York. Utrecht, 1960, pp. 84–85, 127, figs. 27A, B and C.
Walter S. Gibson. "Herri met de Bles: 'Landscape with St. John the Baptist Preaching'." Bulletin of The Cleveland Museum of Art 55 (March 1968), p. 79, ill.
Robert A. Koch. Joachim Patinir. Princeton, 1968, pp. 11–12, 16–18, 35–36, 42 n. 72, pp. 45, 51, 77, no. 14, figs. 35, 37–38 and frontispiece, calls it Patinir's finest altarpiece and places it in his middle period, between 1515–19; considers it likely to have been commissioned by a South German merchant due to the presence of Saint Sebald on an outer wing; comments on the "half-hidden, enigmatic 'portrait' of a young man" in the Temption of Saint Anthony; identifies the episodes in the legend of Saint Jerome and comments on the surprising degree to which disguised natural symbols occur here, although they had ceased to preoccupy Netherlandish artists after the 1470s; discusses the artist's pictorial method.
Charles D. Cuttler and Burton L. Dunbar. "Robert A. Koch, Joachim Patinir, 1968." Art Quarterly 32, no. 4 (1969), p. 432, reject the attribution to Patinir of this altarpiece and the Saint Jerome in London [National Gallery] calling them "stiff, hard, or fussy, and . . . [lacking] the masterfully applied glazes of paint typical of Patinir's authentic works".
Gert von der Osten and Horst Vey. Painting and Sculpture in Germany and the Netherlands 1500 to 1600. Baltimore, 1969, p. 154, pl. 145.
Max J. Friedländer et al. "Joos van Cleve, Jan Provost, Joachim Patenier." Early Netherlandish Painting. 9, part 2, New York, 1973, pp. 125–26, Supp. 266, pls. 250–51.
A. de Bosque. Quentin Metsys. Brussels, 1975, pp. 189, fig. 229 (exterior wings).
Howard Hibbard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1980, pp. 200–201, fig. 365.
Maurice Pons and André Barret. Patinir ou l'harmonie du monde. Paris, 1980, pp. 70, 90–91, 96, 104, 123, figs. 80, 83, 85, 87, 89 (overall and details).
Walter S. Gibson. "In Detail: Pieter Bruegel's 'The Harvesters'." Portfolio (May/June 1981), pp. 42–43, ill.
Luc Serck. "'Isaac bénissant Jacob': Un paysage d'Henri Bles au Musée d'Innsbruck." Kunsthistorisches Jahrbuch Graz 18 (1982), pp. 186–87, 192 n. 7, fig. 15 (central panel).
Reindert L. Falkenburg. "Joachim Patinir: Het landschap als beeld van de levenspelgrimage." PhD diss., Universiteit van Amsterdam, 1985, pp. 10, 73–74, 84–85, fig. 8.
Jacques Hendrick. La peinture au pays de Liège: XVIe, XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles. Liège, 1987, p. 32, ill. (color).
Introduction by James Snyder in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Renaissance in the North. New York, 1987, pp. 12, 54–57, ill. (color, overall and details).
Reindert L. Falkenburg. Joachim Patinir: Landscape as an Image of the Pilgrimage of Life. Amsterdam, 1988, pp. 6–7, 52–57, fig. 8, sees Patinir's landscapes with large saints in the foreground, including the present work, as deriving from the compositional type of the "Andachtsbild" combined with the tradition of supplementary vignettes (present in certain works of Rogier van der Weyden and Hans Memling); believes Patinir's pictures of this type were intended as visual aids for meditation, providing a visual rather than a literal pilgrimage, and contends that this interpretation is consistent with what is known of contemporary devotional practice; places our triptych in a group of works from Patinir's earliest development of this compositional type.
Walter S. Gibson. "Mirror of the Earth": The World Landscape in Sixteenth-century Flemish Painting. Princeton, 1989, pp. 4, 7–8, 10, fig. 1.8, in discussing this picture, comments on the artist's "indifference to spatial unity" (including the unnaturally high horizon, the land and bodies of water seen from above, and the vertical elements—architecture, trees, and mountains—seen straight on); also comments on Patinir's "bold defiance" of the laws of atmospheric perspective, which permits us to see the near and the far with almost equal clarity; discusses the artist's pictorial method in general and his role in the history of Netherlandish landscape painting.
Robert A. Koch, Selected by Guy C. Bauman, and Walter A. Liedtke, Introduction by Walter A. Liedtke in Flemish Paintings in America: A Survey of Early Netherlandish and Flemish Paintings in the Public Collections of North America. Antwerp, 1992, pp. 108–111, ill. in color (overall and detail), as representing a mature phase in Patinir's stylistic development, about 1518.
Larry Silver. "Kith and Kin: A Rediscovered Sacred Image by Massys." Shop Talk: Studies in Honor of Seymour Slive. Cambridge, Mass., 1995, p. 234.
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. 856, ill.
Peter Humfrey and Mauro Lucco. Dosso Dossi: Court Painter in Renaissance Ferrara. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1998, p. 196, ill.
Arianne Faber Kolb. "Varieties of Repetition: 'Trend' versus 'Brand' in Landscape Paintings by Joachim Patinir and His Workshop." Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 28 (Winter 1998), pp. 170, 172, states that Patinir's Baptism of Christ (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) was "imitated" in the left wing our triptych, which she places in his middle period, or 1515–19.
Véronique Sintobin in From Van Eyck to Bruegel: Early Netherlandish Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1998, pp. vii, 70, 74, 257, 270, 323, 335–42, 379, 386, no. 88, ill. (color, overall and details) and frontispiece (color), dates it about 1518.
Luc Serck in Autour de Henri Blés. Exh. cat., Musée des Arts Anciens du Namurois. [Namur], 2000, pp. 154–56, 234, 246, ill. (overall and detail), catalogues and reproduces a triptych by a follower of Patinir with Saints Jerome, John the Baptist and Anthony (private collection) which appears to have elements in common with our triptych; also reproduces two works by Herri met de Bles which he believes derive from the central panel of our triptych.
Boudewijn Bakker Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. Landschap en Wereldbeeld: Van Van Eyck tot Rembrandt. Bossum, The Netherlands, 2004, pp. 123, 198, fig. 28, compares the bird's eye view to Jan de Hervy's 1501 map of the Zwin river in Bruges (fig. 45).
Larry Silver. Hieronymus Bosch. New York, 2006, p. 366, colorpl. 287.
Maryan W. Ainsworth and Karen E. Thomas et al. in Patinir: Essays and Critical Catalogue. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, 2007, p. 29 n. 25, pp. 30–31, 36–37, 59, 78, 84, 223, 277, 282–91, 294, 376no. 19, ill. in color (overall and details), and infrared reflectograms of details, based on Klein's [Ref. 2007] dendrochronological analysis, give a most plausible date of execution of 1494; tentatively conclude the larger figures in our panel and in the Prado's Landscape with Saint Jerome were painted by Patinir himself, judging from the extremely rough reserve left for them in the landscape.
Peter Klein. Letter. June 11, 2007, gives an earliest creation date for this painting of 1488 upwards, and a most plausible creation date of 1494 upwards.
Leopoldine Prosperetti. "Crafting Repose: Aesthetic and Cultural Aspects of the Hermitage Landscape by Jan Brueghel the Elder." Image and Imagination of the Religious Self in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Turnhout, Belgium, 2007, pp. 363, 366, fig. 120, erroneously as in the Cloisters.
Cécile Scailliérez and Alejandro Vergara in Patinir: Essays and Critical Catalogue. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, 2007, p. 332, compare the large figures in our triptych with those in Patinir's "Landscape with Saint Jerome" (Louvre, Paris) and "Charon Crossing the River Styx," (Prado, Madrid), finding them "close in style to the work of Gerard David, if slightly less skilfully rendered"; observe that these figures "may be the work of Patinir at an advanced stage in his development as an artist, when his figure painting had reached a more than acceptable level, especially in areas such as the folds of the draperies".