According to a pencil inscription on the mount it was Professor I.Q. van Regteren Altena who first suggested an attribution to an artist in the circle of Ghirlandaio. Comparison can be made, for example, with the regular penwork and characteristic manner of defining profiles in a drawing of The Naming of Saint John in the British Museum, B. Berenson, The Drawings of the Florentine Painters, Chicago, 1938 (reprinted 1970), no. 884, fig. 301).
A.E. Popham suggested an attribution to Raffaello da Montelupo on the basis of the similarly calligraphic pen lines of a double-sided drawing in the Royal Library, Windsor (A.E. Popham and J. Wilde, The Italian Drawings of the XV and XVI Centuries in the Collection of His Majesty the King at Windsor Castle, London, 1949, no. 787).