across top: [H]VI [S]ANAS MEN[T]ES FE[BRIS] / QVVM BACCHIC[A] / TVRBAT (Woe, when Bacchic fever confuses sound minds)
Professor Wieser, Innsbruck, by 1891. Lacher von Eisack, Bad Tölz, Oberbayern. (Paul Cassirer, Berlin). Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza [1875-1947], Schloss Rohoncz, Hungary, and later Villa Favorita, Lugano-Castagnola, Switzerland, by 1930; by inheritance to his son, Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza [1921-2002], Villa Favorita; acquired 1950 by (M. Knoedler & Co., New York); purchased February 1951 by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; gift 1952 to NGA.
- Sammlung Schloss Rohoncz, Neue Pinakothek, Munich, 1930, no. 4.
- Friedländer, Max. "Albrecht Altdorfer, der Maler von Regensburg." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Leipzig, 1891: 56, no. 27.
- Benesch, Otto. "Altdorfers Badstubenfresken und das Wiener Lothbild." Jahrbuch der preussischen Kunstsammlungen 51 (1930): 182-186, figs. 5-6.
- Hugelshofer, Walter. "Die altdeutschen Bilder der Sammlung Schloss Rohoncz." Der Cicerone 22 (1930): 409.
- Mayer, August L. "Die Ausstellung der Sammlung `Schloss Rohoncz' in der Neuen Pinakothek, München." Pantheon 6 (July 1930): 304.
- Heinemann, Rudolf. Stiftung Sammlung Schloss Rohoncz. 3 vols. Lugano-Castagnola, 1937: 1:1-2, no. 4, 2:pl. 35.
- Benesch, Otto. Der Maler Albrecht Altdorfer. Vienna, 1939: 28, 48-49, nos. 71-72, figs. 71-72.
- Baldass, Ludwig von. Albrecht Altdorfer. Zürich, 1941: 176-178, 194, repro. 306-307.
- Paintings and Sculpture from the Kress Colllection Acquired by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation 1951-56. Introduction by John Walker, text by William E. Suida and Fern Rusk Shapley. National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1956: 20, no. 1, repro.
- Walker, John. "The Nation's Newest Old Masters." National Geographic Magazine 110, no. 5 (November 1956): color repro. 626, 643.
- Paintings and Sculpture from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1959: 303, repro.
- Broadley Hugh T. German Painting in the National Gallery of Art (Booklet no. 9 in Ten Schools of Painting in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC). Washington, 1960: 26-27, color repro.
- Stange, Alfred. Malerei der Donauschule. Munich, 1964: 39, 141, no. 25, fig. 118.
- Ruhmer, Eberhard. Albrecht Altdorfer. Munich, 1965: 52, no. 12, figs. 131a-b, 132.
- Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 7.
- Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds. A Pageant of Painting from the National Gallery of Art. 2 vols. New York, 1966: 1:116-117, color repro.
- European Paintings and Sculpture: Illustrations (Companion to the Summary Catalogue, 1965). Washington, 1968: 1, no. 1110, repro.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 10, repro.
- Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1975: 147, nos. 156-158, repro.
- Winzinger, Franz. Albrecht Altdorfer: Die Gemälde. Munich and Zürich, 1975: 59, 130-132, no. 109, repro.
- Eisler, Colin. Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: European Schools Excluding Italian. Oxford, 1977: 33-35, figs. 28-30.
- Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 137, no. 150, color repro.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 17, repro.
- Dülberg, Angelica. Privatporträts--Geschichte und Ikonologie einer Gattung im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert. Berlin, 1990: 299-300, no. 349, figs. 173-175.
- Hand, John Oliver, with the assistance of Sally E. Mansfield. German Paintings of the Fifteenth through Seventeenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, 1993: 5-11, color repro. 6.
- Löcher, Kurt. Review of German Paintings of the Fifteenth through Seventeenth Centuries, by John Oliver Hand with the assistance of Sally E. Mansfield. Kunstchronik 43 no. 1 (January 1995): 13-14.
The x-radiograph indicates a long check near the top of the left-hand corner. A small length of barbe is visible at the right edge; this is the only edge that is clearly original, but there are no strong compositional indications that the panels have been significantly altered. Examination with infrared reflectography reveals underdrawing in what appears to be a liquid medium. There are numerous small losses throughout, most apparent in the area of the inscription, and also an extensive raised crackle.
The present arrangement of these panels is not the original one. Although they were probably a triptych, the original center panel is no longer extant, and the present center panel once existed as two separate images on the reverse of the wings. Adam was on the reverse of The Rule of Bacchus and Eve was on the reverse of The Rule of Mars. The work existed as a diptych from 1891 on, and photographs from the 1930s and 1940s indicate that the two panels were joined so that while the Adam and Eve panels faced each other correctly, the Bacchus and Mars panels were consequently incorrectly oriented. Around 1950 the panels were thinned to a veneer and marouflaged to hardboard that was subsequently veneered; it is assumed that at this time the fronts and backs were separated and the backs joined together to form a single image of The Fall of Man.
 Friedländer 1891, 56, no. 27; for reproductions of the panels prior to their separation see Benesch 1930, 84-185, figs. 5-6. The original support was reported to be linden in Benesch 1939, 48, and in Eisler 1977, 33, but it has not been possible to confirm this through direct examination. Kress Condition and Restoration Record in NGA curatorial files indicates that the work was done prior to acquisition by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. Eisler 1977, 33, states that the panels were treated by William Suhr around 1950.