This bust of a young boy was created as a luxury item using coloured marbles for the drapery and socle. This was an antique tradition which was revived in the 16th century but was considered particularly fashionable in the 17th century when baroque artists focused on movement, drama and colour. In the case of the present portrait of a young boy, elements of the carving of the head, as well as the fact that the shoulders are carved from a solid piece of marble, both suggest a slightly later date of production. The expense of quarrying large pieces of coloured marble meant that 17th century sculptors tended to apply veneers of expensive marbles onto carcases made of cheaper stone. This intimate portrait was more likely to have been created in the 18th century.