Gustave Courbet. Letter to Champfleury. [November–December 1854] [published in Ref. Huyghe et al. 1944, p. 23 and in English transl. in Petra ten-Doesschate Chu, ed., "Letters of Gustave Courbet," Chicago, 1992, no. 54-8, p. 132], describes "The Painter's Studio" (1855; Musée d'Orsay, Paris; F165), noting that he has included "Promayet, avec son violon sous le bras comme il est sur le portrait qu'il m'envoie" [this picture].
Zacharie Astruc. Les 14 Stations du Salon. Paris, 1859, p. 389, describes seeing this painting of "un homme à grande barbe fauve tenant un violon à la main" in Courbet's studio.
Gustave Courbet. Letter to Mme Reverdy. 1873 [excerpt published in Ref. Riat 1906, p. 342], in response to his sister's attempt to sell this painting, calls it perhaps the best he has made.
Gustave Courbet. Letter to Jules Castagnary. February 9, 1873 [English transl. published in Chu, ed., "Letters of Gustave Courbet," 1992, no. 73-11, p. 481], lists it among paintings for possible inclusion in the Artistic Circle exhibition, Vienna.
Gustave Courbet. Letter to Étienne Baudry. June 2, 1875 [English transl. published in Chu, ed., "Letters of Gustave Courbet," 1992, no. 75-11, p. 551], lists it among works he recalls being stored at the Durand-Ruel gallery.
Georges Riat. Gustave Courbet peintre. Paris, 1906, pp. 46, 133, 149, 253, 342, mentions a portrait of Promayet in exhibitions of 1855, 1857, and 1867; states that Courbet's sister, Mme Reverdy, was negotiating the sale of this work to the "oncle de M. Demitri" in 1873, but that Courbet was undecided about the sale price.
René Jean. L'Art français a Saint-Pétersbourg: Exposition centennale. Exh. cat.Paris, 1912, p. 71.
V. G. Karatyghin. "Scriabin and the Young Composers of Moscow." Apollon 3, part 1, no. 5 (1912), ill. opp. p. 31, as in the N. Romanoff collection.
François Monod. "L'Exposition centennale de l'art français à Saint-Pétersbourg (2e et dernier article)." Gazette des beaux-arts, 4th ser., 7 (April 1912), p. 313 n. 1.
Loan Exhibition of the Works of Gustave Courbet. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1919, p. 4, no. 5, erroneously lists this picture as being in Courbet's 1882 solo exhibition at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris [no. 159 in the 1882 catalogue is "Portrait de M. Alphonse Promayet, artiste musicien," 79 x 62 cm., lent by M. Granet].
Charles Léger. "Courbet, peintre de la vie provinciale au XIXe siècle." Franche-Comté, Monts-Jura et Haute-Alsace 9 (December 1927), ill. p. 248.
Charles Léger. Courbet. Paris, 1929, pp. 52–53, 70, 127.
H. O. Havemeyer Collection: Catalogue of Paintings, Prints, Sculpture and Objects of Art. n.p., 1931, pp. 97–98, ill., calls it "Portrait of Alphonse Promayet" and dates it 1851.
René Huyghe, Germain Bazin, and Hélène Jean [sic] Adhémar. Courbet, L'atelier du peintre: Allégorie réelle, 1855. [Paris], 1944, pp. 16, 23, fig. 26, date it 1851; state that it was included in exhibitions in 1855, 1867, and 1882; mention a smaller, bust-length portrait of Promayet owned by André Derain.
Gerstle Mack. Gustave Courbet. New York, 1951, pp. 66, 143, pl. 16, calls it the second painted portrait of Promayet, dating it about 1851.
Adriana Albini. Courbet alla XXVII Biennale di Venezia. Exh. cat., Biennale. Venice, 1954, unpaginated, ill., dates it 1851; repeats incorrectly that it was exhibited in 1882 [see Ref. New York 1919].
S. Kahn and M. Ecalle. G. Courbet. Exh. cat., Petit Palais. Paris, 1955, unpaginated, no. 19, pl. 15, erroneously list Granet in the provenance [see Ref. Delestre 1962]; mention a smaller replica in the collection of Derain as perhaps the one exhibited in 1882.
Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. New York, 1961, pp. 199, 201, refers to this painting as the "Violinist," calling it "one of Courbet's fine portraits and one which reveals his analogy to Rembrandt".
Gaston Delestre. Letter to Margaretta Salinger. March 10, 1962, dates it 1851; describes a photograph of Courbet's 1882 exhibition which confirms that the exhibited picture of Promayet was a smaller, bust-length portrait, without the violin; concludes that this smaller portrait was also the one exhibited in 1855 and 1867, and that it was owned by Granet and Derain.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. "XIX Century." French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2, New York, 1966, pp. 110–11, ill., state that Courbet made two or three other portraits of Promayet: a drawing (1847; Musée d'Orsay, Paris), and two bust-length paintings, one belonging to Granet and another to Derain, which may in fact be the Granet version cut down; surmise that Courbet either kept the MMA version after borrowing it from Promayet for "The Painter's Studio" or received it after Promayet's 1872 death; note that the right side of the canvas was cut away and a new piece sewn on, possibly by Courbet; assert that sometime between Exh. New York 1919 and the MMA acquisition in 1929, the signature "must have been strengthened and the scroll repainted to its present form".
Bruce K. MacDonald. "The Quarry by Gustave Courbet." Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 67, no. 348 (1969), p. 68 n. 17.
Robert Fernier. "Peintures, 1819–1865." La vie et l'oeuvre de Gustave Courbet. 1, Lausanne, 1977, pp. 80–81, no. 128, ill., calls it "Portrait de A. P. (Alphonse Promayet)"; dates it 1851.
Hélène Toussaint in Gustave Courbet, 1819–1877. Exh. cat., Grand Palais, Paris. London, 1978, pp. 232, 257, 276 ill. (detail) [French ed., 1977, pp. 226, 249, 269, ill. (detail)], dates it both 1847(?) and about 1850.
Pierre Courthion. L'opera completa di Courbet. Milan, 1985, p. 79, no. 122, ill.
Frances Weitzenhoffer. The Havemeyers: Impressionism Comes to America. New York, 1986, pp. 219, 258, notes that Mrs. Havemeyer bought this picture from Rosenberg in 1914.
Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. 3rd ed. [1st ed. 1930, repr. 1961]. New York, 1993, pp. 199, 201, 331 n. 285.
Susan Alyson Stein in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, pp. 266, 284–85.
Gary Tinterow in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 23, colorpl. 23.
Gretchen Wold in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, pp. 312–13, no. A124, ill.
Valérie Bajou. Courbet. Paris, 2003, pp. 63–64, 404 n. 8, ill. (color), tentatively dates it 1851.
Kathryn Calley Galitz in Gustave Courbet. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. New York, 2008, pp. 142–43, no. 31, ill. (color) [French ed., Paris, 2007].
Klaus Herding and Stephanie Marchal in Courbet: A Dream of Modern Art. Exh. cat., Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. Ostfildern, 2010, pp. 160–61, no. 33, ill. (color).