Rocca's birth in Parma is recorded by Nicola Pio in his Vite of 1724. In 1682 Rocca journeyed to Rome, where he was a pupil of Ciro Ferri, returning for further study to Parma, where he concentrated on the paintings of Correggio. He is recorded as being in Parma in 1687 but had returned to Rome by 1695.
The present work is typical of the artist's mature style with its luminosity and rich palette. The sensual treatment of the subject, which can be compared to his depiction of the Toilet of Venus (G. Sestieri, Repertorio della pittura romana della fine del Seicento e del Settecento, Torino, 1994, I, p. 161, III, fig. 991), reveals the strong influence of the emerging French Rococo.
We are grateful to Professor Giancarlo Sestieri for confirming the attribution, on the basis of a photograph.