Posthumous inventory of Louis Tocqué. February 17, 1772 [Archives Nationales de France, Paris, Minutier Central des Notaires de Paris, étude XLV, 543; see Marandet 2013], includes, among items in the sitting room of the artist's apartment in the Louvre, a painting on canvas depicting Monsieur Nattier, father of Madame Tocqué, possibly this work.
Will of Marie Catherine Pauline Nattier Tocqué. March 27, 1775 [Archives Nationales de France, Paris, Minutier Central des Notaires de Paris, étude CXIII, 477; see Marandet 2013], bequeathes this picture to her sister Charlotte Claudine Nattier, wife of François Philippe Brochier.
Posthumous inventory of Marie Catherine Pauline Nattier Tocqué. April 10, 1775 [Archives Nationales de France, Paris, Minutier Central des Notaires de Paris, étude CXIII, 477; see Marandet 2013], lists it as "un tableau peint sur toile représentant le d[it] S[ieu]r Nattier dont les vêtements ne sont qu'ébauchés dans sa bordure de bois dorée, le dit portrait cité pour mémoire attendu sa nature mais la bordure est ici prisée huit livres".
comte Arnauld Doria. Louis Tocqué. Paris, 1929, p. 128, no. 243, attributes this picture to Tocqué rather than to Nattier and notes that it descended from the sitter through the Goupil family to Adrien Raffard; identifies it as the sketch for Tocqué's 1762 portrait of Nattier, which was presented as the younger artist's reception piece to the Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen.
Ernst Goldschmidt. "David og hans skole." Frankrigs Malerkunst. 5, Copenhagen, 1934, pp. 202–6, ill., as a self-portrait by Nattier.
Theodore Rousseau Jr. "New Accessions of Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 14 (April 1956), p. 198, ill. p. 200, as a portrait of Nattier by Tocqué.
Else Kai Sass. "Nattier-Tocqué et vice-versa." Opuscula in Honorem C. Hernmarck 27.12.1966. Stockholm, 1966, pp. 189–93, ill., proposes—on the basis of comparison with Voiriot's 1759 portrait of Nattier and the artist's own family portrait at Versailles begun in 1730 and completed in 1762—that Tocqué's sketch should be dated about 1745–50, but that it was nevertheless the basis for the 1762 portrait.
Xavier Salmon. Jean-Marc Nattier, 1685–1766. Exh. cat., Musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon. Paris, 1999, pp. 120, 122, ill., re-affirms that Tocqué used this study as the source for his 1762 portrait.
François Marandet. "On the Provenance of Louis Tocqué's Sketch of Jean Marc Nattier." Metropolitan Museum Journal 48 (2013), pp. 199–203, fig. 1 (color), identifies it as the work mentioned in both the will and the posthumous inventory of Tocqué's widow, both dated 1775, in the former of which she bequeathed it to her sister Charlotte Claudine Nattier Brochier; suggests that a work included in Tocqué's own posthumous inventory of 1772 may also be identified with the MMA painting.