Only around a hundred drawings by Murillo are now known, although he certainly executed many more. Most of the surviving sheets are compositional studies in pen, ink and wash. In the present drawing, Murillo first drew the figures in pen and then enlivened them with fluid touches of wash, which gives it the feel of a monochromatic painting. The technique allows the drawing to be dated to the 1670s, yet in its composition Murillo returned to a motif he had previously used in a painting of the Madonna and Child in the 1650s (Pasadena, Norton Simon Museum; Fig. 1), itself heavily influenced by Raphael's Madonna della Sedia (Florence, Palazzo Pitti).