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Provenance

British private collection, until 1895.[1] (Bourgeois Frères, Cologne), in 1895.[2] Baron Albert Oppenheim [1834-1912], Cologne, from 1895; purchased 1912 by (F. Kleinberger and Co., New York); sold 5 January 1916 to Michael Dreicer [1868-1921], New York;[3] Dreicer bequest 1921 to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (acc. no. 22.60.45); returned 8 March 1933 to Michael Dreicer's widow, Maisie Dreicer Whyte [1889-1976, née Shainwald, from 1923 Mrs. Jardine Bell Whyte].[4] (M. Knoedler & Co., New York);[5] purchased February 1936 by The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh;[6] gift 1937 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1902
Exposition des primitifs flamands et d'art ancien, Hôtel de Gouvernement Provincial, Bruges, 1902, no. 70.
1912
Exposition de la miniature, Hôtel Goffinet, Brussels, 1912, no. 2031.
1994
Hans Memling, Groeningemuseum, Bruges, Belgium, 1994, no. 11, repro.
2005
The Portraits of Memling, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid; Groeningemuseum, Bruges; The Frick Collection, New York, 2005, no. 13 [Madrid] and 11 [Bruges], repro.
Bibliography
1899
Kaemmerer, Ludwig. Memling. Bielefeld and Leipzig, 1899: 20-21, fig. 16.
1900
Nieuwbarn, M. C. Hans Memling. Leipzig, 1900: no. 52, repro.
1900
Voll, Karl. Review of Memling by Ludwig Kaemmerer. In Kunstchronik N.F. 12 (1900/1901): 115.
1902
Hulin de Loo, Georges. Bruges. Exposition des tableaux flamands des XIVe, XVe, et XVIe siècles. Catalogue critique. Ghent, 1902: 17, no. 70.
1902
Hymans, Henri. "L'Exposition des primitifs flamands à Bruges." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 28 (1902): 292, repro. opp. 294, etching by J. Vyboud (repr. as a book, Paris, 1902: 60).
1903
Friedländer, Max J. "Die Brügger Leihausstellung von 1902." Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft 26 (1903): 82.
1903
Mont, Pol de. L'Evolution de la peinture néerlandaise aux XIVe, XVe et XVIe siècles et l'exposition de Bruges. Haarlem, 1903: no. 106, repro.
1903
Weale, W. H. James. "The Early Painters of the Netherlands as Illustrated by the Bruges Exhibitiion of 1902." The Burlington Magazine 1 (1903): 336.
1904
Molinier, Émile. Collection du Baron Albert Oppenheim. Tableaux et objets d'art. Paris, 1904: 10, no. 25, pl. XXII.
1906
Voll, Karl. Die altniederländische Malerei von Jan van Eyck bis Memling. Leipzig, 1906: 188-189, 225.
1906
Wurzbach, Alfred von. Niederlandisches Kunstler-Lexikon. 3 vols. Vienna, 1906-1911: 2(1910):140.
1907
Vollmer, Hans. "Memling." In Thieme-Becker. 37 vols. Leipzig, 1907-1950: 26(1926):376.
1912
Fierens-Gevaert, Hippolyte. "Correspondance de Belgique. L'Exposition de la miniature à Bruxelles." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 7 (1912): 194-195.
1916
Friedländer, Max J. Von Eyck bis Bruegel. Berlin, 1916: 179.
1919
Friedländer, Max J. "About Some of Hans Memling's Pictures in the United States." Art in America 8 (1919/1920): 107-108, fig. 2.
1922
Wehle, Harry B. "The Michael Dreicer Collection." Bulletin of The Metropolitan Museum of Art 17 (1922): 100, 102, repro.
1924
Friedländer, Max. Die altniederländische Malerei. 14 vols.. Berlin and Leiden, 1924-1937. Berlin, 1934: 6:44, 131, no. 85. (English transl. 14 vols. Leiden, 1967-1976. Leiden, 1971: 6 pt.1:8-29, 56, 130, no. 85, pl. 119.)
1924
Metropolitan Museum of Art. Catalogue of Paintings. 7th ed. Compiled by Bryson Burroughs. New York, 1924: 221 (8th ed. 1926: 233; 9th ed. 1931: 241).
1926
Stein, Wilhelm. "Die Bildnisse von Roger van der Weyden." Jahrbuch der königlich Preussischen Kunstsammlungen (Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen) 47 (1926): 30-31.
1927
Fierens-Gevaert, Hippolyte, and Paul Fierens. Histoire de la peinture flamande des origines à la fin du XVe siècle. 3 vols. Paris and Brussels, 1927-1929: 3:62, 72.
1934
Huisman, Georges. Memlinc. Paris, 1934: 149.
1935
Fierens, Paul. Memling. Paris, 1935: no. 13, repro.
1937
Cortissoz, Royal. An Introduction to the Mellon Collection. Boston, 1937: 35.
1937
Jewell, Edward Alden. "Mellon's Gift." Magazine of Art 30, no. 2 (February 1937): 73.
1939
Bazin, Germain. Memling. Paris, 1939: 20, pl. 6.
1939
Kantorowicz, Ernst H. "The Este Portrait by Roger van der Weyden." Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 3 (1939/1940): 178, fig. 32c.
1941
De Tolnay, Charles. "Flemish Paintings in the National Gallery of Art." Magazine of Art 34 (1941): 186, 200, repro. 187.
1941
Held, Julius S. "Masters of Northern Europe, 1430-1660, in the National Gallery." Art News 40, no. 8 (June 1941): 11, repro. 13.
1941
Preliminary Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1941: 132, no. 42.
1942
Book of Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1942: 240, repro. 39.
1949
Paintings and Sculpture from the Mellon Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1949 (reprinted 1953 and 1958): 58, repro.
1954
Buttin, Charles. "La flèche des juges du camp." Armes anciennes 1 (1954): 59, pl. 20.
1963
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York, 1963 (reprinted 1964 in French, German, and Spanish): 304, repro.
1965
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 89.
1968
European Paintings and Sculpture: Illustrations (Companion to the Summary Catalogue, 1965). Washington, 1968: 78, no. 42, repro.
1968
Nickel, Helmut. "Ceremonial Arrowheads from Bohemia." Metropolitan Museum of Art Journal 1 (1968): 78, fig. 31.
1968
Whinney, Margaret. Early Flemish Painting. New York and Washington, 1968: 89, pl. 55.
1969
Corti, Maria, and Giorgio T. Faggin. L'opera completa di Memling. Milan, 1969: 111, no. 111, repro.
1969
Wuyts, L. "Aantekeningen bij een vermeend portret van Jean Lefèvre door Rogier van der Weyden." Jaarboek van het Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen (1969): 82, fig. 14.
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 230, repro. 231.
1975
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1975: 131, repro., no. 127.
1984
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 130, no. 121, color repro.
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 266, repro.
1986
Hand, John Oliver and Martha Wolff. Early Netherlandish Painting. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, 1986: 188-193, repro. 189.
1994
Vos, Dirk de. Hans Memling: The Complete Works. Translated by Ted Alkins. Antwerp and Ghent, 1994: no. 29, 146-147, color fig.
2004
Hand, John Oliver. National Gallery of Art: Master Paintings from the Collection. Washington and New York, 2004: 58, no. 41, color repro.
2007
Lane, Barbara G. Hans Memling: Master Painter in Fifteenth-Century Bruges. London, 2009: 80-81, 319, 67.
2007
Michiels, Alfred. Hans Memling. New York, 2007: 206-207, color fig.
Technical Summary

Comparison with the x-radiograph shows that the bottom and left edges have been filled and extended over what was originally unpainted wood. Thus the sitter's hand originally occupied the corner of the painting, with his fingertips at the painting's margin. X-ray fluorescence indicates the presence of modern pigments such as cadmium yellow, zinc white, and Prussian blue in the extended portions of the hand and along all four edges. At some point after these extensions were made the original panel was set into a new mount visible on all four sides as exposed wood.[1] The face, hair, and hat are in good condition with some scattered areas of abrasion and inpainting in the sitter's proper left cheek.

The background was originally a bright blue-green, but the surface layer has discolored, accounting for its present dark appearance. Patches of bright blue are still visible under the microscope, especially at the edge of the hair.[2] The light appearance of the background in the x-radiograph is apparently due to the thick layer of azurite in this area. In the x-radiograph the background shows a wide traction crackle not visible on the surface. A change in the contour of the sitter's hair at the right is visible in infrared photographs and, more clearly, in infrared reflectography. The boundary of the hair was moved further to the right here.

[1] These dimensions include the areas that have been filled and extended.

[2] Two portraits in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Portrait of a Man by Dieric Bouts (acc. no. 14.40.644) and Portrait of an Old Man by Memling (acc. no. 14.40.648), which were together with the Portrait of a Man with an Arrow in a British private collection and in the Oppenheim collection, have also been set into new panels. Friedlander 1919/1920, 107-108, reported that the portraits were all in one frame when Oppenheim acquired them.