A student of Ludovico and Annibale Carracci, Cavedone may have made this oil sketch on paper as a study for an altarpiece from 1613-1614 for the chapel of Isabella Arrigoni in the Bolognese church of San Paolo Maggiore, with an Adoration of the Magi as its pendant (see E. Negro and N. Roio, Giacomo Cavedone 1577-1660, Modena, 1996, nos. 41-42, ill.). Several other drawings for the same painting exist (ibid., p. 115, under no. 41).
We are grateful to Nicosetta Roio and Emilio Negro for their assistance in cataloguing this drawing.