The two figures in the present composition were repeated by Magnasco in two horizontal variants: one is in the Cincinnati Art Museum (J.T. Spike, Italian Paintings in the Cincinnati Art Museum, 1993, no. 15, illustrated in colour); the other is the Muse de la Chartreuse, Douai (catalogue of the exhibition, De Carrache a Guardi, Tresors des Muses du Nord de la France, Lille, 1985, no. 27, illustrated). Spike dates the Cincinnati picture to circa 1740, and believes it may have been executed with the help of an assistant. An earlier dating for the present lot may be more appropriate, however, since the composition is known to have existed as early as 1708, the date on a drawing by Magnasco's contemporary, Carlo Antonio Tavella, in the Rijksprintenkabinet, Amsterdam.
Another version of the composition, by Magnasco and Antonio Francesco Peruzzini, is in the Galleria di Palazzo Bianco, Genoa (L. Muti and D. de Sarno Prignano, Alessandro Magnasco, ed. E. Martini, Ravenna, 1994, pp. 218-9, no. 103, fig. 266, pls. XII and XIII).