This drawing is one of a number of depictions from the first half to the middle of the 16th Century of the myth of Ganymede, the mortal boy from Troy with whom Jupiter fell in love and abducted in the guise of an eagle, appointing him wine-pourer to the gods (see M. Marongiu, Il mito di Ganimede prima e dopo Michelangelo, exhib. cat., Florence, Casa Buonarroti, 2002). The drawing is particularly close to the most famous of these, a composition by Michelangelo, known from several drawn, painted and engraved versions. A drawing in the Harvard Art Museums has sometimes been considered the original (inv. 1955.75; see A. Gnann, Michelangelo. The Drawings of a Genius, exhib. cat., Vienna, Albertina, 2010-2011, no. 83, ill., as after Michelangelo). The prime engraved version, attributed to Nicolas Beatrizet and dated 1542, or one of the versions after it must have been the direct source for the present drawing, as it shows the dog looking up at Ganymede in the same direction as seen here. It has been suggested that the drawing could be French, rather than Italian.