(On copper--length 1 foot 11 inches, breadth 1 foot 6 inches.) . . . In another catalogue the Archbishop says of it, "Most rare, because the only picture by Rubens of this size on copper." The Albano family being one of the most ancient and wealthy in Rome, . . . possessed the largest and most varied collections of originals; one, finally, which has given a sovereign to the Roman Church, in the person of Clement XI. . . . Rubens painted in the course of his life, not less than sixteen pictures of the Adoration of the Wise men; all of which are alike as to the general composition, but differ in the details. It is peculiar to the present picture that the child places his hand, as if in Benediction, on the head of the prostrate king. Circumstances like these, distinguish originals from copies. A copyist is timid, and never ventures upon such liberties. The only difficulty to those who are acquainted with the sketching, bold and dashing manner of Rubens, is the exquisite finish of this picture. But it must be remembered that exquisite and laboured finish is the characteristic of the Flemish School; and that Rubens was different at different periods of his life. . . . It is possible that this is one of his early pictures, painted on his first arrival at Rome, as a specimen of Flemish painting for the cabinet of an illustrious Roman family. [P. 38; exhibited under heading: "Schools Out Of Italy."]
Catalogue of the Pictures which formed the collection of Joseph Capece Latro, ancient Archbishop of Taranto, &c. in the Kingdom of Naples now exhibited in the City Dispensary, in White Street, for the benefit of that Charitable Institution. New York, October, 1835.