Related to Cano's altarpiece, the Virgen del Rosario, in the Cathedral at Malaga (I.H. Cuéllar et al., Alonso Cano: Espiritualidad y modernidad artística, exh. cat., Granada, Hospital Real, 2001, p. 285). A preparatory drawing for the same altarpiece is in the Louvre (inv. RF 43242). The use of vellum as a support for the present drawing is extremely unusual and may suggest that the drawing was originally intended to form part of a liturgical manuscript such as a book of hours, perhaps one that was intended to be used in the Malaga Chapel of the Rosary itself.
The present drawing will be included in Dr. Zahira Véliz's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of Alonso Cano's drawings.