It has recently been suggested that this bust may be an early work of Gian Cristoforo Romano, who trained in Rome but was later employed by the ruling families of Mantua and in Milan. If this is correct, the youth would belong to a prominent Roman family. Two other portrait busts of boys (Staatliche Museum, Berlin and Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla C' d'Oro, Venice) have been associated with this work. In each, the child wears a chain around his nck; ours with a double-barred cross.
Édouard Aynard (until 1913; sale, Galerie Georges Petit, December 1–4, 1913, no . 227, to Canessa); Canessa , until 1919 (sold to Kleinberger) ; Mr. and Mrs. Francis Kleinberger (from 1919) ; Michael Friedsam (until 1931; bequeathed to MMA)