Although recently published as a work by Werner van den Valckert (born about 1585, died 1627/28), this panel is almost certainly a comparatively early work by another Amsterdam portraitist, Nicolaes Eliasz. At the death of the conservative Cornelis van der Voort (born about 1576, died 1624), Eliasz. and the young Thomas de Keyser (see A Musician and His Daughter of 1629, 64.65.4) became the leading portraitists in Amsterdam until Rembrandt arrived in the winter of 1631–32. In its description of physical qualities and in expression this portrait is engaging, but its lack of animation and psychological intensity make the contemporary ascents of Hals and Rembrandt easy to understand.
Hon. Mrs. Ethel Mary Trollope, Crowcombe Court, near Taunton, Somerset (by 1907–d. 1934; as "The Earl of Northumberland" by Rubens, later as by Thomas de Keyser); her grandson, Major Thomas Fleming Trollope-Bellew, Crowcombe, Taunton (from 1934); [Martin Asscher, London, until 1967; sold to Kleinberger]; [Kleinberger, New York, 1967–75; bequeathed by Harry G. Sperling, last surviving partner of firm, to MMA]
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Winter Exhibition," January 7–March 16, 1907, no. 105 (as "Portrait of the Earl of Northumberland," by Rubens, lent by Hon. Mrs. Trollope).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 18, 2007–January 6, 2008, no catalogue.
Museum of the City of New York. "Amsterdam/New Amsterdam: The Worlds of Henry Hudson," April 4–September 27, 2009, no catalogue.
Rudolf Oldenbourg. Thomas de Keysers Tätigkeit als Maler. Leipzig, 1911, p. 83, no. 93, as by Thomas de Keyser, crediting Hofstede de Groot with the attribution; calls it a half-length portrait of a man, supposedly the Earl of Northumberland; as in the collection of Mrs. Trollope.
Pieter J. J. van Thiel. Letter to Walter Liedtke. January 29, 1981, is "quite convinced" that this picture is by Werner van den Valckert.
P. J. J. van Thiel. "Werner Jacobsz. van den Valckert." Oud Holland 97, no. 3 (1983), pp. 165–66, 180, 195, no. 14, fig. 43, attributes it to Van den Valckert.
J. Bruyn. Letter to Walter Liedtke. October 14, 1983, after seeing the painting reproduced in Ref. Thiel 1983, tentatively suggests that it is an early work by Pickenoy rather than a work by Van den Valckert.
J. Bruyn. Letter to Walter Liedtke. November 9, 1983, confirms his attribution to Pickenoy and calls the picture one of that artist's earliest known works.
R. E. O. Ekkart inDawn of the Golden Age: Northern Netherlandish Art, 1580–1620. Ed. Ger Luijten et al. Exh. cat., Rijksmuseum. Amsterdam, 1993, p. 596 n. 5, under no. 268, calls it an early work by Pickenoy, dismissing Van Thiel's [see Ref. 1983] attribution to Van den Valckert.
Esmée Quodbach. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 65 (Summer 2007), p. 61.
Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, pp. 528–30, no. 136, colorpl. 136.