There is no documentation pertaining to Ferraù Fenzoni's training as an artist. His first known works date from the late 1580s in Rome when he was already in his late twenties, and his most important commission is the small chapel of San Francesco in the Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere. He also collaborated with other artists on commissions in the Vatican, San Giovanni in Laterano and Santa Maria Maggiore. In 1593 he left for Todi in Umbria, where he worked for six years and, in 1599, returned to Faenza. He lived there for the remaining forty-five years of his life, devoting most of his time to drawing rather than painting.
This newly discovered copper is one of the very few works executed in the later period of his life. Its small size and refinement are similar to the type of drawings Fenzoni produced at the time. It was painted in 1629 for Camillo Laderchi, a fellow citizen from Faenza then living in Rome. On 30 May 1629 Fenzoni responded as follows in a letter to Laderchi accepting the commission: 'My soul, recognizing the honor your Lordship bestows upon me, gives me the resolution to make this small sketch that I will send to you in Rome, where so many pilgrims live, without considering the danger to paint a commission in my poor state of eyesight' (G.M Valgimigli, loc. cit.).
The picture was engraved by Johan Friedrich Greuter in 1640 (fig. 1), although the engraving is cut slightly on both sides. The rather elaborate space left on the copper for an inscription (recorded on the verso of the copper) was not copied onto the engraving.