This painting is documented in the collection of King Charles I of England in 1649 before it was sold at auction by the Duke of Buckingham's son in 1763. It was purchased in 1900 by Sir Frederick Cook a British art dealer. Where the work had been stored between these dates is unknown however it is clear that several previous poor restoration attempts had made the painting very difficult to authenticate, it was sold at auction in 1958 for £45.
In 2005 the work was acquired by a consortium of US art dealers for $10.000 and restored. In 2013 it was sold to Yves Bouvier, a Paris dealer, it was then purchased by Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian billionaire for $127m dollars before being consigned to Christie's for the November 2017 auction. The painting has been studied by several experts on Da Vinci and the renaissance period, the consensus is that this work was painted by Leonardo da Vinci and is the original from which the many copies depend.
In a bold move by the National Gallery catalogued the painting as a newly discovered Leonardo.
Leonardo exhibition at :
The National Gallery, London. 9 November 2011 - 5 February 2012.
Note:- The exhibition ended on February 5 2012. However, a worldwide cinema showing is planned, details available from the National Gallery.