Vincenzio Fanti. Descrizzione completa di tutto cio che ritrovarsi nella galleria di pittura e scultura di sua altezza Giuseppe Wenceslao del S.R.I. principe regnante della casa di Lichtenstein. Vienna, 1767, p. 98, no. 498, lists in the collection of the Prince of Liechtenstein: "La Carità co' suoi tre Fanciulli, uno che poppa, e l'altro che scherza, e'l terzo che dorme, di Guido Reni. 4 piedi 4 once x 3 piedi 4 once" [Charity with three infants, one that nurses, another that plays, and a third that sleeps, by Guido Reni]
Déscription des tableaux et des pièces de sculpture que renferme la Gallerie de son altesse François Joseph de Liechtenstein. Vienna, 1780, p. 175, no. 581.
G. Parthey. Deutscher Bildersaal. Vol. 2, L–Z. Berlin, 1864, p. 350, no. 141.
G. F. Waagen. Die vornehmsten Kunstdenkmäler in Wien. part 1, Vienna, 1866, p. 261, lists it in the collection of Prince Liechtenstein, adding that the green tone of the mother, the greenish tone of the one child and the rosy tone of the others, and the exuberance of the figures, are all indicative of the master's later, less accomplished period.
J[akob von]. Falke. Katalog der Fürstlich Liechtensteinischen Bildergallerie im Gartenpalais der Rossau zu Wien. Vienna, 1873, p. 9, no. 62.
Elisabeth Henschel-Simon. Die Gemälde und Skulpturen in der Bildergalerie von Sanssouci. Berlin, 1930, p. 25, under no. 78, identifies the "Caritas" attributed to Reni in the picture gallery at Sanssouci, Potsdam, as a replica of this painting.
D. Stephen Pepper. "A Rediscovered Painting by Guido Reni." Apollo 90 (September 1969), pp. 208–13, figs. 1, 2, 5 (details), colorpl. XIII, credits Charles Sterling and, subsequently, Anthony Clark, with the reattribution of the picture to Guido Reni; on stylistic grounds, dates the picture to about 1628–30, and sees a clue to its dating in the color, used "to differentiate between the child who is still hungry and the others whose appetites have been assuaged"; notes that its provenance can only be traced back to the eighteenth century.
Ann Sutherland Harris. "Florentine Sunset." Art News 68 (1969), p. 61.
Catherine Johnston. Il seicento e il settecento a Bologna. Milan, 1971, p. 83, connects the study of a sleeping baby by Reni at the Teylers Museum, Haarlem, with this picture; dates both the drawing and the painting towards the end of the 1620s.
Edi Baccheschi in L'opera completa di Guido Reni. Milan, 1971, p. 89, no. 35b, ill., proposes a date of around 1630; observes that there is no documentary evidence to support the identification of the picture with the "Charity" formerly in the Bolognetti collection seen by Malvasia at the Palazzo Barberini, Rome [see Carlo Cesare Malvasia, "The Life of Guido Reni," English ed., University Park, Pa., 1980, p.149]; identifies the "Charity" in a private collection in Milan, previously thought to be the original, as a copy after Reni.
Everett Fahy in The Wrightsman Collection. Vol. 5, Paintings, Drawings. [New York], 1973, pp. 170–80, no. 19, ill. p. 171 (color), figs. 1, 5 (details), calls it "An Allegory of Charity" and dates it about 1630; suggests that Prince Karl Eusebius von Liechtenstein bought the painting in Italy around 1630; relates Reni's picture to a local Bolognese convention of half- and three-quarter-length views of Charity looking to one side; considers it unlikely that the different complexions of the three children have symbolic meaning, as Reni habitually varied the flesh colors in his paintings.
Anthony M. Clark in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1965–1975. New York, 1975, p. 96, ill., observes that the figure of Charity wears a rose red dress to recall Christ's sacrificial blood.
Götz Eckardt. Die Gemälde in der Bildergalerie von Sanssouci. Potsdam, 1975, pp. 55–56, ill.
R. A. Cecil. "The Wrightsman Collection." Burlington Magazine 118 (July 1976), p. 518.
"Principales acquisitions des musées en 1975." La Chronique des arts (supplément à la Gazette des beaux-arts) no. 1286 (March 1976), fig. 156.
Howard Hibbard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1980, p. 295, fig. 531 (color).
Veronika Birke. Guido Reni, Zeichnungen. Exh. cat., Graphische Sammlung Albertina. Vienna, 1981, p. 142, fig. 45, under no. 99, calls the Tylers Museum drawing a study for this picture, which she dates probably several years later, about 1630.
D. Stephen Pepper. Guido Reni: A Complete Catalogue of his Works with an Introductory Text. New York, 1984, pp. 31, 261, no. 124, pl. 151.
Ursula Schlegel. "Bernini und Guido Reni." Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen 27 (1985), p. 141.
D. Stephen Pepper in The Age of Correggio and the Carracci: Emilian Painting of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Exh. cat.Washington, 1986, p. 514.
Marìa-Elisabeth Brunnbauer in Guido Reni und Europa: Ruhm und Nachruhm. Ed. Sybille Ebert-Schifferer, Andrea Emiliani, and Erich Schleier. Exh. cat., Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. Frankfurt, 1988, p. 468, publishes the engraving after this painting by the British printmaker John Keyse Sherwin (finished by J. Parker).
Robert B. Simon with Frank Dabell in Important Old Master Paintings: Devotion and Delight. Exh. cat., Piero Corsini, Inc. New York, Fall 1989, pp. 84–85, ill.
Old Master Paintings. Sotheby's, London. December 12, 1990, unpaginated, under no. 133.
Michael Kimmelman. "At the Met with Leon Golub and Nancy Spero." New York Times (January 5, 1996), p. C5.
Richard E. Spear. The "Divine" Guido: Religion, Sex, Money and Art in the World of Guido Reni. New Haven, 1997, p. 231, ill. (detail).
Anthony Colantuono. Guido Reni's "Abduction of Helen": The Politics and Rhetoric of Painting in Seventeenth-Century Europe. Cambridge, 1997, pp. 8–9, ill., suggests that the stern look given by Charity to the robust infant who points to her breast, as if to demand more, serves to express a subtle moral conceit: that charity must be not only generous but equitable
Everett Fahy in The Wrightsman Pictures. Ed. Everett Fahy. New York, 2005, pp. 45–49, no. 12, ill. (color), lists six copies after this composition.
Keith Christiansen. "Going for Baroque: Bringing 17th-Century Masters to the Met." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 62 (Winter 2005), pp. 30, 32, fig. 27 (color).
Keith Christiansen in Philippe de Montebello and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1977–2008. New York, 2009, p. 37.