The present painting relates to a composition by Ludovico Carracci, recorded in period copies and in a print when it was in the Sampieri collection, Bologna (fig. 1). Furthermore, a drawing of Saint Jerome by Sir Joshua Reynolds after the Carracci was also formerly in the Sampieri Collection (fig. 2). The prime - and autograph - version is listed in Alessandro Brogi's 2001 monograph on Ludovico as 'Pittore bolognese, seconda metà sec. XVII' in a Swiss private collection (it is in fact now in a private collection, New York: A. Brogi, Ludovico Carracci, Bologna, 2001, I, pp. 272-3 and II, fig. 291). The print of the composition shows a skull under the hand and book of Saint Jerome. In the present painting there is an area of restoration that covers almost exactly this area, which suggests that the painting may approximate to the print even more closely.