Paul Ganz. "Ein unbekanntes Herrenbildnis von Hans Holbein d. J." Jahrbuch fuer Kunst und Kunstpflege in der Schweiz (1921–24), p. 294, mentions it as one of two roundels in large format by Holbein that recently appeared in England [the other is now MMA 49.7.28].
Tancred Borenius. A Catalogue of the Pictures, Etc. at 18 Kensington Palace Gardens, London, Collected by Viscount and Viscountess Lee of Fareham. 1, [Oxford], 1923, unpaginated, no. 44, ill., notes that when Lord Lee bought this picture in 1922, a great deal of overpaint—"some of it dating apparently from the eighteenth century"— was removed and the restorer Nico Jungman "found underneath . . . the original and present surface of the picture"; publishes the opinion of Ganz [see Ref. 1923].
Ruth Lee. Journal entry. January 26, 1923 [privately printed in "A Good Innings and a Great Partnership, Being the Life Story of Arthur and Ruth Lee," 1939–40, and subsequently published in "'A Good Innings': The Private Papers of Viscount Lee of Fareham," ed. Alan Clark, London, 1974, p. 235], reports on the purchase "a week or two ago" of this roundel for £300 in Hampstead [vendor unspecified]; notes that the owner was advised by [M. J.] Friedländer that it was the work of Joos van Cleve, but that Lord Lee found it "more suggestive of Holbein"; adds [presumably later, for the private printing of the book in 1939] that they sold the picture "some six years later" to Duveen for $150,000.
Arthur B. Chamberlain. Letter to Lord Lee. July 23, 1924, calls it "one of the very greatest works by Holbein I have seen".
R. W. "A Catalogue of the Pictures, etc., at 18, Kensington Palace Gardens, London, 1923." Burlington Magazine 45 (August 1924), p. 94.
Paul Ganz. "The Last Work of Hans Holbein the Younger." Apollo 2 (July–December 1925), pp. 326–27, ill. in color opp. p. 326 [largely derived from Ref. Ganz 1923; reprinted in Ganz 1926], as probably painted about the same time as the roundel portrait in the Sachs collection [now MMA 49.7.28].
Max J. Friedländer. Letter to Lord Lee. June 25, 1925, is "quite convinced that this picture is an original" by Holbein.
Tancred Borenius. "A Portrait by Holbein." Apollo 3 (January–June 1926), p. 249.
Paul Ganz in Tancred Borenius. A Catalogue of the Pictures, Etc. at 18 Kensington Palace Gardens, London, Collected by Viscount and Viscountess Lee of Fareham. 2, [Oxford], 1926, unpaginated, between nos. 98 and 99 [text reprinted from Ref. Ganz 1925], ill. (color, frontispiece).
R. W. "A Catalogue of the Pictures, Etc., at 18 Kensington Palace Gardens, London, Vol. II ." Burlington Magazine (November 1926), p. 254.
R. R. Tatlock. "Some Pictures in Lord Lee's Collection." Art News 26 (April 14, 1928), p. 4, ill. opp. p. 3.
"22 Holbeins Here." Art Digest (December 1, 1928), p. 14.
A Catalogue of Paintings in the Collection of Jules S. Bache. New York, 1929, unpaginated, ill.
Wilhelm Stein. Holbein. Berlin, 1929, p. 310, rejects the attribution to Holbein, suggesting that our painting and a drawing of Edward in Windsor Castle may be by the artist who made the profile drawing of Henry Howard in the Morgan collection.
Frank E. Washburn Freund. "Austellung altdeutscher Malerei in den F. Kleinberger Galleries zu New York." Belvedere 8 (1929), p. 286, ill. opp. p. 287, as by Holbein.
August L. Mayer. "Die Sammlung Jules Bache in New-York." Pantheon 6 (December 1930), p. 542.
H. E. Wortham. "The Bache Collection." Apollo 11 (May 1930), p. 354, fig. 5, as "perhaps the most famous picture in Mr. Bache's gallery".
Royal Cortissoz. "The Jules S. Bache Collection." American Magazine of Art 21 (May 1930), p. 260, ill. p. 259, remarks that this panel "reveals Holbein practicing a daintiness unusual in his work".
Philip Hendy. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: Catalogue of the Exhibited Paintings and Drawings. Boston, 1931, p. 186.
Oswald Götz. "Holbeins Bildnis des Simon George of Quocoute: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Rundbildes in der Renaissance." Städel-Jahrbuch 7–8 (1932), pp. 126–27, 148 n. 123, fig. 90, attributes it to Holbein and believes that the Windsor drawing, though worked over, is also by him.
Charles L. Kuhn. A Catalogue of German Paintings of the Middle Ages and Renaissance in American Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1936, p. 84, no. 379, pl. 80, dates it about 1543 and notes that the attribution to Holbein himself is debatable.
A Catalogue of Paintings in the Bache Collection. under revision. New York, 1937, unpaginated, no. 32, ill.
George Henry McCall. Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture from 1300–1800: Masterpieces of Art. Exh. cat., World's Fair. New York, 1939, pp. 96–97, no. 200, as probably Holbein's last work.
Duveen Pictures in Public Collections of America. New York, 1941, unpaginated, no. 224, ill.
A Catalogue of Paintings in the Bache Collection. rev. ed. New York, 1943, unpaginated, no. 31, ill.
Paul Ganz. "Holbein and Henry VIII." Burlington Magazine 83 (November 1943), p. 272.
K. T. Parker. The Drawings of Hans Holbein in the Collection of His Majesty the King at Windsor Castle. London, 1945, p. 58, under no. 85, mentions this painting as not universally accepted, but very greatly superior to the "feeble drawing" of the prince at Windsor; considers Holbein's authorship of the drawing "manifestly impossible"; notes that the pose of the prince in both works is the same, while the expression and the details of costume and headdress differ.
Harry B. Wehle and Margaretta Salinger. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Early Flemish, Dutch and German Paintings. New York, 1947, pp. 222–23, ill., as painted by Holbein in the last year of his life.
Millia Davenport. The Book of Costume. New York, 1948, vol. 1, p. 431, no. 1155, ill.
Paul Ganz. The Paintings of Hans Holbein. London, 1950, pp. 256–57, no. 128, pl. 169, attributes it to Holbein.
F. Grossmann. "Holbein Studies—II." Burlington Magazine 93 (April 1951), p. 113, attributes our portrait to Holbein himself, observing that "it has suffered much [but] the pentimenti permit the assertion of Holbein's authorship with some confidence"; believes that Holbein's last drawing of Edward VI, on which our portrait is based, has been lost and that profile portraits in the National Portrait Gallery (No. 442), Victoria and Albert Museum (Jones Collection, No. 497), and at Knole reproduce another version, probably based on the same lost drawing.
A. Hyatt Mayor. "The Gifts that Made the Museum." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16 (November 1957), p. 106, attributes it to Holbein and calls it one of his "alarming psychological masterpieces".
Ellis K. Waterhouse. Letter to Colin Eisler. October 9, 1959, rejects it as a Holbein, and wonders if it did not go through heavy restoration before and while it was with Duveen; considers it a key picture in understanding the mysterious period immediately after Holbein's death, when there is some evidence of pupils "able to do near-Holbeins, but this gift certainly evaporated very quickly".
Roy Strong. Letter to Elizabeth Gardner. June 16, 1965, notes that he is "trying hard not to see something sinister in the transformations to [this painting visible in the x-radiograph; see Ref. Strong 1967] . . . , i.e. the age and date just within Holbein's lifetime and the alteration of the dress to a collar slightly earlier in date—the Holbein Henry VIII type collar," but has "little doubt that this portrait started its life as a version of the Scrots profile pattern which would suggest that the inscription is entirely a later addition"; observes that the Scrots type came into circulation in 1546 and that there is a distorted profile version of it in the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Roy Strong. "Holbein in England—III to V." Burlington Magazine 109 (December 1967), pp. 701–2, no. IV, figs. 57 (x-radiograph), 58, notes that the x-radiograph "reveals a technique of painting untenable in comparison with authentic instances of [Holbein's] work"; calls the white collar an alteration or later addition, observing that visible beneath it is a standing collar of the type worn by Edward VI in profile portraits of him attributed to Holbein's successor as court painter, William Scrots; further comments that examination of the paint surface of our panel "established that the blue background had been entirely repainted and that the status of the present inscription, although reinforced, is uncertain".
Roy Strong. Tudor & Jacobean Portraits. London, 1969, vol. 1, p. 93, calls our picture the earliest of the profile portraits of Edward VI and observes that "further investigation is needed to establish the final status of this problematic picture"; notes that the costume visible in the x-radiograph seems slightly later in date than that on the painted surface, and is close to the dress in the other versions, from about 1546; observes that this portrait type relates to the non-Holbein drawing at Windsor and lists portraits of Edward that are close to or nearly identical to the drawing; suggests they all go back to a pattern by William Scrots, first recorded as King's Painter in 1545–46, although known versions are by various hands.
Hans Werner Grohn in L'opera pittorica completa di Holbein il Giovane. Milan, 1971, p. 110, no. 146, ill. p. 110 (overall and x-radiograph) and colorpl. LXI.
Douglas Hall. Hans Holbein, German School. rev. ed. London, 1971, pp. 12–13, fig. 8.
K. T. Parker with an appendix by Susan Foister in The Drawings of Hans Holbein in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle. London, 1983, p. 58, under no. 85, finds the connection between the drawing, our painting, and the profile of Henry Howard in the Morgan Library [see Ref. Stein 1929] unconvincing.
Susan Foister. Drawings by Holbein from the Royal Library Windsor Castle. London, 1983, p. 46, under no. 85, rejects the Windsor drawing as a work of Holbein and notes that "it resembles the image of Edward in a circular portrait formerly attributed to Holbein in the Metropolitan Museum . . . and may be connected with it".
John Rowlands. Holbein: The Paintings of Hans Holbein the Younger. Oxford, 1985, pp. 95, 235–36, no. R. 35, pl. 243, lists it with rejected works and calls it "probably the best version of a series of profile portraits of Edward, executed after Holbein's death, which according to Strong [Ref. 1969] derived from the studio of William Scrots; calls the artist responsible for our portrait "certainly one of the better of Holbein's immediate successors".
Colin Simpson. Artful Partners: Bernard Berenson and Joseph Duveen. New York, 1986, pp. 209–10, 295 [excerpt published in Connoisseur 216 (October 1986), p. 128, ill. p. 127 (color); British ed., "The Partnership: The Secret Association of Bernard Berenson and Joseph Duveen," London, 1987].
Maryan Ainsworth. "'Paternes for phiosioneamyes': Holbein's Portraiture Reconsidered." Burlington Magazine 132 (March 1990), p. 182 n. 52, pp. 185–86, notes that the pose and scale of the Windsor drawing and our painting are the same, as confirmed by a photostat overlay, but the painted profile is incised while the drawing is not; concludes that some other intermediary sheet was used, and that the Windsor drawing was perhaps the product of a transfer from the original drawing.
Roy Strong. Tudor & Stuart Portraits, 1530–1660. Exh. cat., Weiss Gallery. London, 1995, unpaginated, under no. 7, mentions our portrait in relation to a profile portrait of Edward (private collection, England) from the studio of William Scrots, noting that penimenti in our panel reveal a similar kind of upstanding collar; remarks that the contour of the profile has been incised in the Scrots portraits and in ours, suggesting that they were copied from a now lost original.
Meryle Secrest. Duveen: A Life in Art. New York, 2004, p. 449.
Peter Klein. Letter to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. May 3, 2006, as the result of dendrochronological analysis concludes that the youngest heartwood ring was formed in the year 1534, and that with a minimum of 2 years for seasoning, an earliest creation date for the painting would be 1545.