This study, an important addition to the drawn corpus of Jean-François de Troy, was once part of the collection of Antoine-Joseph Dezallier d'Argenville (1680-1765). The latter was a draftsman and engraver most famous for having written a guide of Paris (1749) and the Abrégé de la vie des plus fameux peintres which second edition (1762) included the life of Jean-François de Troy who was just one year older and whom he knew personnally.
Two paintings by de Troy of Christ carrying the Cross are documented. One was commissioned in 1751 by the diocese of Besançon and is still in the city's cathedral (C. Leribault, Jean François de Troy (1679-1752), Paris, 2002, no. P.339), but the figure of Christ appears in reverse and in a different pose than in the present drawing. The other painting of the subject was executed twenty years earlier for the Church of the Benedictine sisters of La Ville-L'Evêque in Paris and was later in the musée de Strasbourg where it was destroyed during the bombings of 1870. Its composition is unfortunately not known (Leribault, op. cit., P. 198).