This panel has been the subject of numerous studies and differing attributions by leading art historians including Max Friedländer and Friedrich Winkler. In 1969 Christian Salm attributed it to Ambrosio Holbein, son of Hans Holbein, and related it to a drawing by the artist now in Basel. Other art historians made a variety of attributions to known or anonymous artists. In her 1991 study of the German paintings in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Isolde Lübbeke compared the sitter’s features to those seen in other portraits by Ambrosio Holbein and concluded that he was not the artist of this work. Now catalogued as the work of an anonymous German artist, the sitter’s body is created through pronounced contrasts of light and their expressive effects with particular use of the darkest and lightest areas.
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