The present drawing would appear to relate to the oil painting of Mariana, executed by Rossetti in 1870, using Jane Morris as the model and depicting the opening of Act IV of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. The oil painting shows Mariana, three-quarter-length, working on a piece of embroidery. The comb in Mrs Morris' hair was a studio prop often used by Rossetti and seen in other works such as Monna Vanna, Fiammetta and A Christmas Carol (see lot 120).
It has been suggested that this drawing may be by Henry Treffry Dunn who worked as Rossetti's studio assistant from 1867 until Rossetti's death in 1882. Rossetti said of him that he was 'the best of fellows and my guardian angel'.