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Inscription

Roth family coat-of-arms center: per pale sable, a unicorn rampant argent, and silver, a fess also s able; crest: a demi-unicorn per fess argent and sable; upper right above coat-of-arms: U.4.

Provenance

Probably Hans Roth [d. 14 March 1573] and Margarethe Vöhlin [d. 5 July 1582], Memmingen, Augsburg, and Ulm.[1] Manoli Mandelbaum, Berlin; (Julius Böhler, Munich), in January 1922; (Paul Cassirer, Berlin); purchased March 1922 by Ralph Harman [1873-1931] and Mary Batterman [d. 1951] Booth, Grosse Pointe, Michigan;[2] gift 1947 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1923
Ralph H. Booth Loan Collection, Detroit Institute of Arts, 1923, no cat.
1926
The Third Loan Exhibition of Old Masters. The Detroit Institiute of Arts, (Catalogue of a Loan Exhibition from Detroit Private Collections.), 1926, no. 19.
1927
The Fifth Loan Exhibition of Old and Modern Masters, The Detroit Institute of Arts, 1927, no. 26.
1933
A Century of Progress, The Art Institute of Chicago, 1933, no. 32a.
1939
Masterpieces of Art. European Paintings and Sculpture from 1300-1800, New York World's Fair, 1939, no. 363.
2011
Dürer-Cranach-Holbein. Die Entdeckung des Menschen: Das deutsche Porträt um 1500, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung, Munich, 2011-2012, no. 168, repro. (shown only in Munich).
Bibliography
1995
Löcher, Kurt. Review of German Paintings of the Fifteenth through Seventeenth Centuries, by John Oliver Hand with the assistance of Sally E. Mansfield. Kunstchronik 43 no. 1 (January 1995): 19.
Technical Summary

The examination was conducted without disengaging the panel from the frame. The support is a single piece of wood with vertically oriented grain. The frame is made of poplar wood.[1] The white ground terminates in a barbe along all four edges of the panel. Along the left, right, and bottom sides wooden strips are nailed to the outer edge of the frame. Examination with infrared reflectography revealed fine outlines of the sitter's eyes and nose, but it was not clear whether this was underdrawing or part of the paint layer. Also visible in the sitter's hand is the blocked-in shape of an early design stage. There is a vertical check at the left edge of the panel. Retouching is scattered throughout the panel but is concentrated in the sitter's face. The right corner has been cleaned more thoroughly than the rest of the panel.

Reverse: An area roughly the size of the coat of arms was prepared with a white ground. A layer of greenish paint and small yellow dots was applied directly to the wood in the remaining areas of the panel and frame. A fine, precise outline underdrawing is discernible in the unicorn in the crest of the coat of arms. There are scratches and losses scattered throughout the greenish area. The reverse is not varnished.

[1] The wood was identified by the National Gallery's scientific research department.