The figures on the recto and verso are after details in Nicolas Poussin's painting Cephalus and Aurora, now at Hovingham Hall (see R. Verdi, Nicolas Poussin 1594-1665, exhib. cat., London, Royal Academy, 1995, no. 1, pl. 1). The two putti in the drawing are above the chariot in the upper left corner of the painting, the river god is in the center, and the swan and dog are at the lower left and lower center of the canvas, respectively.
Poussin's painting is thought to have been in the collection of a relative of the Roman collector and antiquarian, Cassiano dal Pozzo, whom Dandini would have known through his association with Pietro da Cortona.