"The scene is at the entrance of the temple, where Jesus was teaching the people, when the scribes and pharisees brought to him a woman taken in adultery. They arraign the woman, not for the ends of justice, but for the purpose of tempting our saviour; hence Rubens has introduced more of cunning than of virtue in the face of the principal accuser, who, with a splenetic archness of expression, exhibits the charge; nor are his hands less eloquent than his features in denouncing the abashed culprit. The companion pharisee, in crimson attire, with a specious display of clamness, watches the benevolent feelings operating on the mild countenance of the lord. from tradition we learn, that the three accusers are portraits; the most prominent, with a dark beard and yellow drapery, is Calvin; the second, without a beard, his head covered with a crimson scarf, is luther; and the third, with bright carnations, and gray hair, represents Van Oort, the early master of Rubens. the young man, bending over the woman's shoulder, was painted from Vandyke; and, in the delineation of Christ, the artist borrowed from his own profile." [P. 2.]
Gallery of Pictures, selected from the most admired productions of the Old Masters, Doggett's Repository, No. 16 Market-Street.