This characteristic canvas by Nicolas Colombel is, in fact, the prototype for the homonymous panel first published by Anthony Blunt ('Nicolas Colombel', Revue de l'Art, 9, 1970, pp. 30, 31, 34, fig. 19) and in the Bob Jones Museum and Gallery, Greenville (see Chastagnol, op. cit., no. P5). Another version, painted for the former Château de Meudon, is no longer believed to be extant. The pendant for the present work, The Exposition of Moses, was with Galerie Didier Aaron & Cie, at the time of publication of Chastagnol's exhibition catalogue (op. cit., p. 121, no. P2); a second Exposition of Moses is in the Milgrom collection, Sceaux, and is the pendant for the painting in Greenville (Chastagnol, op. cit., p. 122, no. P3).
Last recorded when it was photographed at the Detroit Institute of Arts in the 1980s, the location of this painting remained undisclosed for the last 30 years. Its reappearance on the market constitutes an exciting rediscovery.