W.S.B. Grimson by 1930. (M. Knoedler & Co.), London; probably purchased from (M. Knoedler & Co.), New York, by Mrs. Henry C. Lancashire; by descent to her daughter, Mrs. Richard Southgate, Manchester, Massachusetts; gift to NGA, 1951.
- Loan for display with permanent collection, Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences (now Chrysler Museum), Virginia, 1967-1972.
- Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 67, as Joseph Highmore, A Scholar of Merton College, Oxford.
- European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 59, repro., as Joseph Highmore, A Scholar of Merton College, Oxford.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 174, repro., as Joseph Highmore, A Scholar of Merton College, Oxford.
- Lewis, Alison Shepherd. "Joseph Highmore: 1692-1780." Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1975. Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1979: 638.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 201, repro., as A Scholar of Merton College, Oxford
- Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 150-152, color repro. 151.
The medium-fine canvas is plain woven; it has been lined. The ground is light gray, thinly and smoothly applied. The painting is broadly executed in fairly thin, smooth, opaque layers with only slight impasto in the highlights; the brown shadows and thin green paint of the background have a glazelike quality. The light-colored area to the left of the right arm may represent a pentimento, but the x-radiographs do not reveal an underpainted design. The painting is in good condition with only a few minor losses, chiefly in the sky. The natural resin varnish, evenly applied when the picture was surface cleaned in 1951, has not discolored.