Paul Ganz. Hans Holbein d. J.: Des Meisters Gemälde. Stuttgart, 1912, pp. 241–42, ill. p. 115, as by Holbein, in the collection of F. Engel-Gros, Schloss Ripaille, near Thonon; calls it a portrait of an official at the court of King Henry VIII, probably an artist, apparently a Netherlander or a German; relates it to a pair of round portraits of a court official and his wife dated 1534 (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna), seeing a close likeness between the MMA sitter and the woman in Vienna; states that it was first exhibited in Basel in 1891 [sic, for 1897; see Ref. Ganz 1921, p. 263].
Arthur B. Chamberlain. Hans Holbein the Younger. London, 1913, vol. 2, pp. 71, 353, dates it to the same period as the two roundels of 1534 in Vienna; tentatively identifies the sitters of the Vienna pictures as John Parker and his wife Susanna Hornebolt [Horenbout] and suggests that the sitter of the MMA painting may be Lucas Horenbout, brother of Susanna and painter in the service of Henry VIII; notes that there is an old copy on copper in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; states that Engel-Gros purchased it in Paris.
"Tiny Holbein, Only 4 Inches in Diameter Brings 294,937 Francs in Paris Auction." American Art News 19 (June 11, 1921), p. 1, ill., as a portrait of Lucas Horenbout.
Paul Ganz. "Les portraits-miniature de Hans Holbein le jeune a propos du 'Holbein' de la collection Engel-Gros." Revue de l'art 39 (April 1921), pp. 263–66, 268, ill., states that it was discovered thirty years before in a private collection in Paris; notes that the initials H R stand for Henricus Rex; accepts Chamberlains's [see Ref. 1913] proposal concerning the identities of the sitters of the MMA portrait and the two Vienna roundels, calling the sitter of the MMA picture Luc Horebout [Lucas Horenbout]; notes that the Vienna pictures form the top and bottom of a painted box and concludes that the MMA painting must have been part of a similar box, with a second, lost, painting depicting Horenbout's wife, Marguerite; dates it about 1534.
Paul Ganz et al. L'oeuvre d'un amateur d'art: La collection de Monsieur F. Engel-Gros. Geneva, 1925, vol. 1, pp. 124–25, 139, no. 32; vol. 2, colorpl. 77, as "Portrait présumé de Luc Horebout"; refers to the background as dark blue-green.
Basil S. Long. British Miniaturists. London, 1929, p. 215.
Heinrich Alfred Schmid. Hans Holbein der Jüngere: Sein Aufstieg zur Meisterschaft und sein englischer Stil. Tafelband, Basel, 1945, p. 32, no. 86, ill., as in a private collection, Paris; calls it a portrait of an official of Henry VIII and dates it about 1532–35.
Paul Ganz. The Paintings of Hans Holbein. London, 1950, p. 244, no. 80, pl. 120.
"List of Gifts and Bequests of Mr. and Mrs. Harkness." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 10 (October 1951), p. 85, as "Portrait of a Man in a Red Cap (Luc Horebout?)," a miniature by Holbein.
J. W. Goodison and Denys Sutton in "Dutch and Flemish; French, German, Spanish." Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge: Catalogue of Paintings. 1, Cambridge, 1960, pp. 203–4 nn. 2–3, under no. 537, date it about 1534 and refer to it as the original of the copy in Cambridge, which they date to the second half of the eighteenth century; reject the identification of the sitter as Lucas Horenbout, noting that John Parker died in 1529 and therefore cannot be the man represented with his wife, Susanna Horenbout, in the Vienna roundels of 1534.
Hans Werner Grohn in L'opera pittorica completa di Holbein il Giovane. Milan, 1971, p. 103, no. 91, ill. p. 102, as whereabouts unknown; assigns it to Holbein's workshop and dates it about 1534; calls it the bottom of a box whose lid has been lost; mentions the proposed identification of the sitter as Lucas Horenbout.
John Rowlands. Holbein: The Paintings of Hans Holbein the Younger. Oxford, 1985, pp. 96, 141, no. 52, pl. 85, rejects the identification of the sitter as Lucas Horenbout, as well as the identification of the sitters of the Vienna roundels as John Parker and Susanna Horenbout.
Katharine Baetjer. "British Portraits in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 57 (Summer 1999), pp. 5–7, ill. (color), dates it about 1534; believes that the picture originally had a lid, relating the work to a portrait of Philip Melanchthon (Niedersächsisches Landesgalerie, Hannover) that still has such a decorative lid, and also to the two roundels in Vienna.
Mark Evans. "The Pedigree of the Portrait Miniature: European Sources of an English Genre." Hans Holbein und der Wandel in der Kunst des frühen 16. Jahrhunderts. Turnhout, Belgium, 2005, pp. 244, 251 n. 156.
Susan Foister. Holbein in England. Exh. cat., Tate Britain. London, 2006, pp. 41, 49–50, 175, no. 43, ill. (color), dates it about 1532–35; agrees that it probably originally had a painted lid.