The dating of the present pair has been subject to much discussion. In the 1950s, it was thought that the date could read 1704, which would be inconceivable if one were to follow Busiri Vici's opinion that Locatelli was born in 1695, but could be substantiated by the belief of some scholars that Locatelli was born in the 1660s. Stylistically, however, the confident handling of the paint is comparable to Locatelli's signed and dated ovals of 1741 in the National Gallery, Prague (inv. nos. 0-2719 and 0-2720). At the time of the publication of the catalogue raisonné in 1976, Busiri Vici only knew of the first of the present pair of pictures, dating it to circa 1740, and acknowledging that it would have had a companion piece. He noted in the catalogue that the picture (dirty at the time) ranked as 'one of the most significant products of Locatelli's Bambocciante phase... ' and that this painting was fully 'indicative of Locatelli's stature as an artist and his importance not only within the context of the Roman school, but for the entire 18th century' (loc. cit.).