Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed (right): ANNO DOMINI· / 1574· / ÆTATIS·SVÆ· / 30·LAM [monogram]
Paul Gravier, Paris (until 1923; his estate sale, Schoeller, Féral, Paris, May 3–4, 1923, no. 198, as attributed to Melchior Lorch, for Fr 1,500 to Lecaplain); [Goldschmidt Galleries, until 1929, as by ?François Clouet; sold to Kleinberger]; [Kleinberger, New York, 1929–30, as by Étienne Dumonstier; sold to Friedsam]; Michael Friedsam, New York (1930–d. 1931)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Michael Friedsam Collection," November 15, 1932–April 9, 1933, no catalogue.
Katharine Grant Sterne. "The French Primitives in the Friedsam Collection." Parnassus 4 (January 1932), p. 9, calls it a portrait of Henri III by Etienne de Moustier.
Millia Davenport. The Book of Costume. New York, 1948, vol. 2, p. 481, no. 1282, ill. p. 480 (cropped).
Charles Sterling. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of French Paintings. Vol. 1, XV–XVIII Centuries. Cambridge, Mass., 1955, pp. 59–60, ill., catalogues it as by "Monogrammist LAM, 1568–1574"; comments on the excellent painting of the head and suggests the hands and body were painted by an assistant; identifies the subject as apparently a courtier of Charles IX or Henry III; notes that a photograph was recently discovered of a similar picture that once belonged to a private collection in France; this picture, he notes, was a half-length portrait of a man, bore the same signature as ours, and was dated 1568, but was more consistent in execution.
Harold Koda. Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2001, p. 110, ill. (color, cropped).
The monogram at one time was altered to read EDM and was interpreted as that of Étienne du Moustier. Restored now to its original form, it is clearly composed of the letters L, A, and M. No French painter of that time with corresponding initials is known. Recent research has discovered a photograph of a similar picture, now lost, once in a private collection in France. A half-length portrait of a man holding a book, it bore the same signature as ours, was dated 1568, but was more consistent in execution.