RD.24 Bust Length Portrait of a Young Woman of the Medici Family

RD.24 Bust Length Portrait of a Woman

New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Robert Lehman Collection, no. 1975.1.411.


Metalpoint with a few red chalk lines delineating the shoulders and parts of the dress, on gray-blue prepared paper, 17.6 x 13.3; laid down; no wm. visible.  Inscribed in pen and brown ink at the lower right: 5 [?].

PROVENANCE: Fairfax Murray (see below).  A.G.B. Russell (Lugt 2770a; sale, London, Sotheby’s, May 22, 1928, lot 68).  Henry Oppenheimer (sale, London, Christie’s, July 10, 13, 14, 1936, lot 150).  Philip Hofer (see below).


Catalogue of Valuable Drawings by Old Masters (A.G.B. Russell Collection), London, Sotheby and Co., May 22, 1928, lot 68, with Fig. on facing page, as from the Fairfax Murray Collection, and as by Lorenzo di Credi.

Parker, K. T., Catalogue of the Famous Collection of Old Master Drawings Formed by the Late Henry Oppenheimer, Esq., F.S.A., London, Messrs. Christie, Mason and Woods, July 10, 13, 14, 1936, 78, Lot 150, Pl. 37, as Pontormo.

Berenson, 1938, no. 2370D, as School of Pontormo.

Master Drawings Lent by Philip Hofer, Class of 1921, Cambridge, Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University, December, 1940 (mimeographed catalogue), 2, no. 5, as a Florentine drawing of the first half of the sixteenth century.

Sylvie Béguin, in Exposition de la collection Lehman de New York, exh. cat., Paris, 1957, no. 120 (and the second edition, p. 85), as Pontormo.

The Lehman Collection. New York, exh. cat., ed. Gustave von Groschwitz, The Cincinnati Art Museum, May 8 – July 5, 1959, 25, no. 217, and Fig. 217, as Pontormo.

Berenson, 1961, no. 2370D, as school of Pontormo.

Cox-Rearick, 1964, I, 398-399, A232, as not by Pontormo, commenting that my attribution to Rosso is plausible.

Carroll, 1964 (1976), I, Bk. I, 20-25, II, Bk. II, 185-190, D. 4, Bk. III, Fig. 11, as Rosso, around 1515-1516, and in the 1976 “Preface,” vii, as not by Rosso.

Szabo, George, XVI Century Italian Drawings from the Robert Lehman Collection, exh. cat., New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1979, no. 19, with Fig., as attributed to Pontormo, c. 1515.

Szabo, George, Masterpieces of Italian Drawing in the Robert Lehman Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1983, 40, Fig. 51, as school of Pontormo, 70, as formerly attributed to Pontormo, but now simply attributed to a Florentine artist.

Forlani Tempesti, 1991, 274-277, with Fig., as by Pier Francesco Foschi (?) and as made no later than the 1530s.


Although I had thought, in 1964, that this drawing was done by the young Rosso, I no longer believed this in 1976.  The headdress would seem to date the portrait not before the end of the 1520s, as also pointed out by Forlani Tempesti.  Stylistically this would be too late for an attribution to Rosso.

Forlani Tempesti’s attribution of the drawing to the young Pier Francesco Foschi in the 1530s is an interesting hypothesis, for which, however, new evidence will be needed to make it convincing.  My notes show that in July, 1959, Philip Pouncey suggested to me that the drawing might be by Foschi.

The device showing six balls in the center of the woman’s headdress would seem to indicate the Medici family.