[Lionel Cust]. Exhibition Illustrative of Early English Portraiture. Exh. cat., Burlington Fine Arts Club. London, 1909, p. 101, no. 64, pl. 22, notes that a larger version of this portrait with Viscount Dillon at Ditchley, Oxfordshire, was published in "'Catalogue of Pictures at Ditchley,' 1908, no. 32, where the subject is identified as Margaret, daughter of Sir Henry Wyat[t] and wife of Sir Anthony Lee.
Roger E. Fry. "Early English Portraiture at the Burlington Fine Arts Club." Burlington Magazine 15 (May 1909), pp. 74–75, notes that opinion about this picture is divided; finds it "entirely in Holbein's manner" and thinks it must derive from one of his drawings; believes it will ultimately be rejected as autograph, but notes that "no other known imitator comes as near to Holbein himself as does the author of this".
Mary F. S. Hervey. "Notes on Some Portraits of Tudor Times." Burlington Magazine 15 (June 1909), p. 151, ill. opp. p. 135 (frontispiece), notes that "whether or not this small picture is to be assigned wholly to the brush of Hans Holbein—it displays unusual redness of tone, and seems to miss something of the supreme distinction of the master—it is without doubt one of the gems of the exhibition"; in a footnote the editor adds: "if we do not accept the attribution to Holbein, we must apparently presume the existence of some other remarkable master, of whom no precisely similar example is known".
Martin Conway. "Notes on Various Works of Art: Portraits of the Wyat Family." Burlington Magazine 16 (December 1909), p. 159, notes that this portrait appears to him "to be obviously and all over Holbein, but that was not the universal opinion" at the 1909 exhibition.
F. "Aus der Sammlerwelt und vom Kunsthandel: New-York." Der Cicerone 4 (1912), p. 339, asserts that this picture, bought by Altman, was the first Holbein in America.
Paul Ganz. Hans Holbein d. J.: Des Meisters Gemälde. Stuttgart, 1912, p. 245, ill. p. 143, illustrates it as "An English Lady, probably Margaret Wyat[t], Lady Lee"; attributes it to Holbein and dates it about 1540; observes that the sitter is dressed in the French fashion and that a similar enamelled rose is worn by Lady Butts in Holbein's portrait of about the same date [Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston].
"Holbein Portrait Sold." American Art News 10 (April 13, 1912), p. 1, ill. p. 7, as sold by Gimpel & Wildenstein to Altman.
"The Benjamin Altman Bequest." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 8 (November 1913), p. 237.
Arthur B. Chamberlain. Hans Holbein the Younger. London, 1913, vol. 2, pp. 82–83, 348, pl. 15, notes that the picture is now identified with some degree of certainty as Margaraet Wyatt, Lady Lee, the elder sister of Sir Thomas Wyatt, on the grounds that the Ditchley version has long been so identified by family tradition; remarks that the gold tags decorating Lady Lee's dress are very similar to those on the surcoat of Sir Thomas Wyatt in a portrait by Lucas Cornelisz.; describes the rose as red enamel and identifies the subject of the medallion as Lucretia; finds it difficult to arrive at a definitive conclusion about the attribution.
Handbook of the Benjamin Altman Collection. New York, 1914, pp. 52–55, ill.
Kenyon Cox. "Workmanship." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12 (July 1917), p. 148, ill. p. 151.
François Monod. "La galerie Altman au Metropolitan Museum de New-York (1er article)." Gazette des beaux-arts, 5th ser., 8 (September–October 1923), p. 198.
H. A. Schmid in Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. 17, Leipzig, 1924, p. 352, mentions it with Holbein's undated portraits of the 1540s.
Malcolm Vaughan. "Holbein Portraits in America—Part II." International Studio 88 (December 1927), p. 68, ill. p. 63, describes it as "perhaps [the] best known and most popular of Holbein's portraits in America" and notes that "controversy once raged round the picture until Dr. Ganz [Ref. 1912] declared it genuine and dated it 1540".
Handbook of the Benjamin Altman Collection. 2nd ed. New York, 1928, pp. 28–30, no. 6, pl. 6, attributes it to Holbein, dating it about 1539, and mentions that the identification of the subject is tentative; notes that according to Palmer family archives, this picture was in their possession from the time of Charles I.
Wilhelm Stein. Holbein. Berlin, 1929, pp. 300, 302, dates this picture and the Vienna portrait to the time of Catherine Howard (1540–42).
Mary Evans. Costume Throughout the Ages. Philadelphia, 1930, ill. p. 137, describes the "V-shape neckline and small collar" as worn in the time of Queen Mary.
Charles L. Kuhn. A Catalogue of German Paintings of the Middle Ages and Renaissance in American Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1936, p. 83, no. 374, pl. 79, catalogues it as a Holbein of about 1540.
Emil Waldmann. "Deutsche Kunst in amerikanischen Museen." Der Türmer: Deutsche Monatshefte 39 (January 1937), ill. p. 303.
Katherine Morris Lester and Bess Viola Oerke. An Illustrated History of Those Frills and Furbelows of Fashion Which Have Come to be Known as Accessories of Dress. Peoria, Ill., 1940, p. 24, pl. VII [reprinted as "Accessories of Dress: An Illustrated Encyclopedia," Mineola, N.Y., 2004].
Duveen Pictures in Public Collections of America. New York, 1941, unpaginated, no. 223, ill., as a Holbein of about 1539; erroneously includes Captain H. R. Moseley in the provenance [this must come from a footnote to another portrait in Ref. Monod 1923; furthermore, there is no evidence that our picture passed through Duveen].
Heinrich Alfred Schmid. Hans Holbein der Jüngere: Sein Aufstieg zur Meisterschaft und sein englischer Stil. Tafelband, Basel, 1945, p. 35, no. 114, ill., as "Margaret Wyatt, Lady Lee (?)," a work from Holbein's last years.
Josephine L. Allen. "A Portrait by Holbein." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 3 (March 1945), pp. 161–62, ill. (in color on cover), reproduces Holbein's drawing of Sir Thomas Wyatt, elder brother of Lady Lee, in the Royal Library, Windsor, and comments on the resemblance to our sitter; notes that Margaret could have been 34 in 1539.
Harry B. Wehle and Margaretta Salinger. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Early Flemish, Dutch and German Paintings. New York, 1947, pp. 219–20, ill., as by Holbein; note that the identification as Lady Lee rests on the traditional identification of the larger replica in the collection of Viscount Dillon, a descendant of the sitter.
Millia Davenport. The Book of Costume. New York, 1948, vol. 1, p. 428, no. 1144, ill. (cropped), notes that Lady Lee wears a variation of the French hood, which had reached England about 1515.
Heinrich Alfred Schmid. Hans Holbein der Jüngere: Sein Aufstieg zur Meisterschaft und sein englischer Stil. 1–2, Basel, 1948, vol. 2, pp. 364, 366, 378, 385, 389.
Julius S. Held. "Book Reviews: Harry B. Wehle and Margaretta M. Salinger . . ., 1947." Art Bulletin 31 (June 1949), p. 140, notes that the medallion held by the sitter, depicting the Death of Lucretia, could not be made out in the reproduction and was not mentioned in the text.
Paul Ganz. The Paintings of Hans Holbein. London, 1950, p. 253, no. 112, pl. 151, as by Holbein.
Gert von der Osten and Horst Vey. Painting and Sculpture in Germany and the Netherlands 1500 to 1600. Baltimore, 1969, p. 230, as by Holbein.
Calvin Tomkins. Merchants and Masterpieces: The Story of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1970, p. 171 [rev., enl. ed., 1989].
Hans Werner Grohn in L'opera pittorica completa di Holbein il Giovane. Milan, 1971, p. 107, no. 124, ill. p. 107 and colorpl. 53, as generally accepted as the work of Holbein.
Gert von der Osten. Deutsche und niederländische Kunst der Reformationszeit. Cologne, 1973, p. 250, mentions this portrait, that of the Sieur de Morette of 1535 (Gemäldegalerie, Dresden), and The Falconer of 1542 (Mauritshuis, The Hague), as examples of the increasing importance of the frame in controlling the composition, and a tendency toward greater stiffness in the figures.
Philip Hendy. European and American Paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Boston, 1974, p. 124, as by Holbein; notes that the "pink flower, probably the handicraft of a German enameller" that appears in the portrait of Lady Butts (Gardner Museum) also appears in our portrait of Lady Lee.
David Schaff. "The Manchester Portrait of Henry VIII by Hans Holbein the Younger." Art International 23 (May 1979), pp. 51–52, observes that the medallion held in the present picture by Lady Lee and that worn by an unknown lady in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, are almost identical in design and technique to the cap badge in the Duke of Manchester's portrait of Henry VIII (ill. p. 44).
John Fletcher. Memorandum to John Pope-Hennessy. January 13, 1982, notes that the tree ring evidence he obtained for this picture in 1976 makes it very unlikely to be much, if any, later than Lady Butts [Gardner Museum, Boston], also measured in 1976, and that "the panel resembles that of Lady Butts in several ways, sufficiently to indicate it came from the same 'stable' about the same time"; sees "every reason to support your view that it is a painting by Holbein" painted between 1540 and his death.
Roy Strong in The Treasure Houses of Britain: Five Hundred Years of Private Patronage and Art Collecting. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1985, p. 85, notes that the "Portrait of an Unknown Lady of the Fitzwilliam Family," which he tentatively attributes to John Bettes I, "derives directly, in formula and treatment" from Holbein's later court portraits, such as the MMA portrait of Lady Lee, and the portrait of an Unknown Lady in the Toledo Museum of Art; remarks that these pictures are all "about half life-size and the sitter is depicted half-length, with her hands clasped at the waist," that they are "executed in the same highly linear way in which form is suggested by the confining lines of the composition," and that they have "the same raised blue background"; dates the Fitzwilliam portrait to the first half of the 1450s.
John Rowlands. Holbein: The Paintings of Hans Holbein the Younger. Oxford, 1985, pp. 120, 236–37, no. R. 39, pl. 247, calls our picture the work of an able follower of Holbein, and the larger version at Ditchley a much inferior work probably painted towards the end of the sixteenth century; asserts that the latter was sold at the Ditchley sale, Sotheby's, 1933, and then returned to Ditchley when it was bequeathed to the Ditchley Foundation in 1977.
Maryan Ainsworth. "'Paternes for phiosioneamyes': Holbein's Portraiture Reconsidered." Burlington Magazine 132 (March 1990), p. 185, as "from the putative workshop of Holbein"; notes that this portrait, that of John Godsalve in the Philadelpia Museum of Art, and the MMA Unknown Lady [Style of Holbein, 29.7.30] have "mechanical-looking underdrawings in the contours of the face, and more lively, free-hand brushstrokes for the underdrawing elsewhere, particularly in the hands".
Paul Mitchell and Lynn Roberts. Frameworks: Form, Function & Ornament in European Portrait Frames. London, 1996, pp. 81, 84, colorpl. 50 (in frame), describe the frame.
Meryle Secrest. Duveen: A Life in Art. New York, 2004, p. 448, erroneously includes Captain H. R. Moseley in the provenance [see Ref. Duveen 1941] and remarks that "the painting is now considered to be a competent copy by a follower of Holbein".
Peter Klein. Letter to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. May 3, 2006, provides an earliest felling date of 1608, an earliest creation date for the painting of 1610 upwards, and, after seasoning, a plausible creation date of 1620 upwards.
Roy Strong. "In Search of Holbein's Thomas Wyatt the Younger." Apollo 163 (March 2006), p. 51, fig. 14 (color), suggests adding this portrait to evidence of Holbein's relationship with the Wyatt family, but notes that it may be "as in so many other instances . . . an early version of a picture that is now lost"; illustrates it as "after Holbein, c. 1542–43".