Painted for the sitter, John Musters [1753-1827], Colwick Hall, Nottinghamshire; probably by inheritance to his son, John Musters [1777-1849], Colwick Hall; (his estate sale, at Colwick Hall by J.M. Pott, 9-13 and 16 December 1850, 4th day [Dec. 12], no. 680, bought in); by inheritance to his grandson, John Chaworth Musters [1838-1887], Annesley Park, Colwick Hall, and Wiverton Hall; his estate; sold 3 July 1888 to (Thos. Agnew & Sons, Ltd., London); sold 10 July 1888 to Sir Edward Cecil Guinness [later 1st earl of Iveagh, 1847-1927], Dublin, London, Cowes, and Elveden Hall, Suffolk; sold 19 November 1892 back to (Thos. Agnew & Sons, Ltd., London); sold 29 June 1897 to (William Lockett Agnew, London). private collection ["a lady"]; consigned for her by (William Lockett Agnew, London) to (sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 27 April 1901, no.101); (Thos. Agnew & Sons, Ltd., London); sold two days later to Charles Richard John Spencer-Churchill, 9th duke of Marlborough [1871-1934]; (sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 14 June 1907, no. 104); bought by (Lane) for Sir W. Hutcheson Poë, Bt., Batchwood Hall, near St. Albans; (sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 8 July 1927, no. 58); (Thos. Agnew & Sons, Ltd., London); sold the same month to Alvan T. Fuller [1878-1958], Boston; The Fuller Foundation, Boston; gift 1961 to NGA.
- Opening Exhibition of the Midland Counties Art Museum, Castle, Nottingham, 1878-1879, no. 57.
- Works by the Old Masters, and by Deceased Masters of the British School. Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1885, no. 189.
- 20 Masterpieces of the English School, Thos. Agnew & Sons, Ltd., London, 1895, no. 15.
- Japan-British Exhibition, Shepherd's Bush, London, 1910, no. 9, repro.
- Exhibition of Paintings Loaned by Governor Alvan T. Fuller, Art Club, Boston, 1928, no. 24.
- Art in New England: Paintings, Drawings, Prints from Private Collections in New England, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1939, no. 109, pl. 56.
- A Memorial Exhibition of the Collection of the Honorable Alvan T. Fuller, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1959, no. 20, repro.
- Loan to display with permanent collection, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California, 2002-2003.
- Leslie, Charles Robert and Tom Taylor. Life and Times of Sir Joshua Reynolds. 2 vols. London, 1865: 2:202, 302.
- Graves, Algernon and William Vine Cronin. A History of the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds. 4 vols. London, 1899-1901: 2:487-488.
- Armstrong, Sir Walter. Sir Joshua Reynolds. London, 1900: 221.
- Waterhouse, Sir Ellis. Reynolds. London, 1941: 69, pl. 192.
- Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York, 1963 (reprinted 1964 in French, German, and Spanish): 319, repro., as Squire Musters.
- Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 114, as Squire Musters.
- European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 101, repro., as Squire Musters.
- Watson, Ross. "British Paintings in the National Gallery of Art." The Connoisseur 172 (1969): 56, repro., 57-58.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 304, repro., as Squire Musters.
- Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1975: no. 505, color repro.
- Williams 1981, 12, repro. 14, as Squire Musters.
- Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 361, no. 502, color repro., as Squire Musters.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 349, repro., as Squire Musters.
- Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 215-217, repro. 216.
- Bryant, Julius. Kenwood: Paintings in the Iveagh Bequest. New Haven and London, 2003: 15, 352, 354 fig. 2, 356-357, 417.
The canvas is twill woven; it has been lined. The ground is white, of moderate thickness. What remains of the original paint in the face and figure is freely applied in thick, opaque layers, blended wet into wet. The sky and background are severely abraded and very heavily overpainted; the sitter's hair and neck are also overpainted. The costume was overpainted c. 1820; this overpaint was removed and the picture restored to its original state in 1872. The coat is badly abraded and has been extensively retouched. The impasto has been flattened during lining. The heavy natural resin varnish has not discolored.
 Graves and Cronin 1899-1901, 2:682.