The Comte de Brissac was an excellent soldier and a famous gallant known as "le beau Brissac."
Roger de Gaignières, Paris (until 1711); Louis XIV, King of France (1711–17; sale of the Gaignières collection arranged by Colbert de Torcy, Paris, July 21ff., 1717); Staats-Minister von Hacke (until 1822; sold to Hausmann); Bernhard David Hausmann, Hanover (1822–57; cat., 1831, no. 76 or 77); George V, King of Hanover (1857–d. 1878; cat., 1857, no. 77); his son, Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, also Duke of Cumberland (1878–d. 1923; cat., 1902, no. 144; cat., 1905, no. 528); [Paul Bottenwieser, Berlin, 1925]; Maurice Brozek, Paris (1925; sold for $6,068.75 to Bache); Jules S. Bache, New York (1925–d. 1944; his estate, 1944–49; cats., 1937, no. 45; 1943, no. 44)
New York. F. Kleinberger Galleries. "Loan Exhibition of French Primitives and Objects of Art," October 17–November 12, 1927, no. 62 (as "Portait of the Duke de Cosse-Brissac," by Corneille de Lyon, lent by Jules S. Bache).
Paris. Palais National des Arts. "Chefs d'œuvre de l'art français," July–September 1937, no. 48 (as "Portrait d'homme" by Corneille de la Haye, lent by Jules S. Bache).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Bache Collection," June 16–September 30, 1943, no. 44 (as "A Nobleman with White Cap-Feather," by Corneille de Lyon).
Leningrad [St. Petersburg]. State Hermitage Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," May 22–July 27, 1975, no. 46.
Moscow. State Pushkin Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," August 28–November 2, 1975, no. 46.
B[ernhard]. Hausmann. Verzeichniss der Hausmann'schen Gemählde-Sammlung in Hannover. Braunschweig, 1831, p. VI n. 6, pp. 42–43, nos. 76 and 77 [with MMA 49.7.45], lists both works as Early Netherlandish portraits, noting that the sitters seem to be Spanish; includes them as part of the collection of Staats-Minister von Hacke that he bought in 1822.
Verzeichniss der von Seiner Majestät dem Könige angekauften Hausmann'schen Gemälde-Sammlung in Hannover. Hanover, 1857, p. 11, no. 77, as "Bildniss des Herzogs de Cossé Brissac, Marechal de France," by François Clouet.
G. Parthey. Deutscher Bildersaal. Vol. 1, A–K. Berlin, 1863, p. 287, no. 4 (under François Clouet), lists it with the works of François Clouet, called Janet, and calls it a portrait of the Count of Cossé Brissac.
O[skar]. Eisenmann inKatalog der zum Ressort der Königlichen Verwaltungs-Kommission gehörigen Sammlung . . . im Provinzial-Museumsgebäude . . . zu Hannover. Hanover, 1891, p. 106, no. 144, as by an unknown sixteenth-century French painter and the pendant to no. 143 [MMA 49.7.45].
Oskar Eisenmann inKatalog der zur Fideicommiss-Galerie des Gesamthauses Braunschweig und Lüneburg gehörigen Sammlung von Gemälden und Skulpturen im Provinzial-Museum . . . zu Hannover. Hanover, 1902, p. 106, no. 144.
Oskar Eisenmann and W. Köhler. Katalog der zur Fideikommiss-Galerie des Gesamthauses Braunschweig und Lüneburg . . . im Provinzial-Museum. Ed. Dr. Reimers. Hanover, 1905, p. 154, no. 528.
E. M. Sperling. Catalogue of a Loan Exhibition of Flemish Primitives. Exh. cat., F. Kleinberger Galleries, Inc., New York. New York, 1929, p. 148, no. 62, ill., calls it "Portrait of the Duke de Cossé-Brissac" by Corneille de Lyon and provides provenance.
A Catalogue of Paintings in the Bache Collection. under revision. New York, 1937, unpaginated, no. 45, ill., note that the arms of the Finance Minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert and of King George of Hanover are on the back of the panel.
Charles Sterling inChefs d'œuvre de l'art français. Exh. cat., Palais National des Arts. Paris, 1937, p. 29, no. 48, as "Portrait d'homme" by Corneille; date it about 1550.
A Catalogue of Paintings in the Bache Collection. rev. ed. New York, 1943, unpaginated, no. 44, ill.
Charles Sterling. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of French Paintings. Vol. 1, XV–XVIII Centuries. Cambridge, Mass., 1955, pp. 32–33, ill., as Charles de Cossé-Brissac by Corneille de Lyon; notes that "the costume suggests the period about 1530–35, which corresponds well enough with the apparent age of the sitter"; observes that this panel bears the seal of Colbert de Torcy, nephew of Louis XIV's minister of Finance; notes that Colbert de Torcy was in charge of the sale in 1717 of the collection of Roger de Gaignières, which belonged to the king since 1711; concludes that this picture likely belonged to Gaignières, whose large collection of portraits by Corneille is the basis for our reconstruction of the artist's oeuvre; adds that a workshop replica of this portrait was in the sale of Mrs. E. Bayer, Countess Sala, in Paris (Charpentier's, May 19, 1933, no. 5, ill.), as a presumed portrait of Guillaume du Bellay.
Charles Sterling and Hélène Adhémar. Peintures: École français XIVe, XVe, et XVIe siècles. Paris, 1965, p. 30, ascribe the Louvre's portrait of Cossé-Brissac in a different costume (no. 84, pl. 191) to the workshop of Corneille, about 1535–40; note that our panel's worn condition makes it difficult to determine whether it is an "original replica" or from the workshop.
Katharine Baetjer. "Pleasures and Problems of Early French Painting." Apollo 106 (November 1977), p. 347, fig. 11.
Anne Dubois de Groër. Corneille de La Haye dit Corneille de Lyon. Paris, 1996, pp. 159–61, no. 50 A, ill., notes that the Louvre version appears to be slightly better than ours, although it is has suffered losses; believes the two Clouet drawings of Brissac at Chantilly date from about 1530–35 and that the Louvre and MMA replicas should be placed between 1535–40, but certainly before 1543 when Brissac was made chevalier de l'Ordre du roi.
Charles Sterling and Maryan W. Ainsworth inThe Robert Lehman Collection. Vol. 2, Fifteenth- to Eighteenth-Century European Paintings. New York, 1998, p. 26, ill.
Charles de Cossé, Count of Brissac (1506–1563), became marshal of France in 1550. He can be identified as the sitter by old inscriptions on the portrait of him in the Louvre, and on several chalk drawings at Chantilly. The costume suggests the period ca. 1530–35, corresponding to the apparent age of the sitter.
The picture bears the seal of Colbert de Torcy, indicating that it belonged in the seventeenth century to the collection of Roger de Gaignières.
This painting, together with the remaining 205 pictures belonging to the Fideikommiss Brunswick-Lüneburg-Cumberland, was deposited by 1902 in the Provinzial-museum, Hanover (under construction from 1897 to 1902). The painting presumably remained there until its sale in 1923.