Anne Dubois de Groër considered the prototype for this picture to be the portrait of the same sitter in the Louvre (op. cit., no. 116, illustrated, p. 75). However, the primacy of the Louvre picture was called into question by the appearance of another version (ibid., no. 116A), sold in these Rooms, 13 December 2000, lot 54 (£110,000), and is put in further doubt by the present work, which is closely comparable in quality with that sold in 2000. De Groër lists two other versions, both at the Musée du château, Versailles (ibid., nos. 116 B-C). The slightly elongated format of the present panel is due to a later extension to the lower edge (affixed before its sale 1971), without which, the size is identical to the version in the Louvre.
Charles de la Rochefoucauld, comte de Randan (1525-1562), was the third son of comte François II de la Rochefoucauld and Anne de Polignac. He became colonel genéral de l'infanterie and served under the King in several battles. After the Battle of Metz in 1552, he was sent to England as Ambassador and negotiated peace with Scotland. He returned to France and played an important role in the Sieges of Bourges and Rouen, at which he was fatally wounded.