Bavarian by birth and training, Hans Rottenhammer spent almost two decades in Venice and Rome, where he succeeded in marrying a Northern style and technique to that of some of his Italian contemporaries. The present drawing was very probably made in Italy as a study for a painting. The blue-green background is not the colour of the paper, but a wash Rottenhammer applied, except in the upper left corner, where he carefully delineated the format he intended the top of the picture’s support to have. (One should probably imagine the same form in reverse at upper right, to the right of the head of the man with clasped hands.) A canvas dated to the mid-1590s in the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum in Brunswick (inv. 1154) and a related drawing in a private collection display the same shape (J. Jacoby, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum Braunschweig. Die deutschen Gemälde des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts, sowie die englischen und skandinavischen Werke, Brunswick, 1989, pp. 207-208, ill.; H. Borggrefe, ‘Hans Rottenhammer (1564?-1625)’, Hans Rottenhammer. Begehrt – vergessen – neu entdeckt, exhib. cat., Brake, Wesenrenaissance-Museum Schloß Brake, and Prague, Národní Galerie Praha, 2008-2009, p. 21, fig. 25).