Drawn in connection with Vasari's altarpiece for the Church of Santa Maria Novella, Florence, painted for Cosimo I de'Medici's physician Andrea Pasquali in 1568, and still in-situ (L. Corti, Vasari, catalogo completo dei dipinti, Florence, 1989, no. 102).
Dr. Florian Härb has pointed out that the drawing may be that referred to by Vincenzo Borghini in a letter to Vasari dated 28 January 1567, in which he suggests alterations to the composition (K. Frey, Der Literarische Nachlass Giorgio Vasari, Munich, II, 1930, p. 291). In the letter Borghini suggests that the composition could be improved by rearrangement, although he notes that Pasquali had already seen and approved the layout given in the drawing. He points out that Saints Cosmas and Damian, patrons of the chapel, are shown on the left, whereas they should more appropriately be on the right. In addition he wonders if the empty space at the entrance of the tomb could be improved by adding an angel. These changes and other slight alterations are shown in a second drawing of the composition now in the Musée Wicar, Lille, by Vasari's chief assistant Giovanni Battista Naldini (P. Barocchi, Vasari, Pittore, Milan, 1964, p. 143, no. 94, as Vasari). Vasari seems to have accepted all these alterations to his composition since his finished modello, now in the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the altarpiece itself, take all the changes into account.