Henry Scipio Reitlinger (Professor at King's College Cambridge, Lugt 2274a);
His sale, Sotheby's, 26 May 1954, lot 482;
Abbott and Holder by August 1966, no. 59
Legros was born in Dijon but in 1863 he moved to England where he was welcomed by Rossetti GF Watts. On the recommendation of Poynter, he was appointed teacher of etching at the South Kensington School of Art, and his success in that post led to his election in 1875 to the Slade Professoship of Fine Art at University College, London. He remained there until 1892 where his pupils included Thomas Cooper Gotch, William Strang and Charles Holroyd. In his teaching he encouraged truth of character and severity, with a simple technique and respect for the traditions of the Old Masters.
The monk in our picture is most certainly the same depicted in his etchings Tête de moine and Moine jouant de l'orgue a l'eglise, both done in the early 1860s.